Loud thoughts

file5181268512066 People often ask me why I'm working by myself on my blog and book, when the subject of my writing is usually teams: rock bands and business teams.

Well, I actually think of myself as a team. I hear SO many voices in my head all the time—usually haranguing each other—I think of me as a we. (I’m always asking strangers on the street, “Is the noise in my head bothering you?”) So when I’m doing anything creative it’s always a team effort.


After working awhile with hi-tech start-ups I’m beginning to agree with the opinion I heard recently that many start-ups are begun by folks who just couldn’t stand their previous boss—and had to strike out on their own! (Happens to rock artists too, when autocratic bandleaders drive good musicians away, who then start more creative, democratized bands.) It’s a mind-bender that "bad bosses" may be fueling the Innovation Economy.


Looks like I’ll be playing drums again when my old rock band, The Morning, reunites for a college reunion next month in New Haven. The salient word here is “old” (we broke up before The Beatles did) but in our prime we opened for some decent acts (Eric Clapton’s Cream, the Grateful Dead, Sly & the Family Stone, Joni Mitchell, etc.). With a little more business sense we might have lasted longer. That reminds me:

    Q: What’s the difference between a large pizza and a rock drummer?

    A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

(Ok, it’s lame, but I got you to click through.) If you swap out “drummer” for something like “folksinger” or “banjo player” it works better.


Ever notice how the latest innovation in leadership practice—or organizational development or project management—is often “old wine in new wine skins” (if I may pervert an NT parable)? Seems true for the arts too—and certainly rock & roll—in which old styles are modernized by creative nomenclature. Such is the power of language to revitalize classic wisdom.


There’s a bird in my courtyard whose “chirp” sounds just like my cellphone. Extremely distracting. I’m going to have to change the ringer on one of them. Unless it’s just another voice in my head.

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  1. My network of smart friends all seem to drift in and out of teams effortlessly. Solo for a while, in order to drive ahead on some new front, then circling the wagons for the skills and attitudes others can bring to the party.

    How come you and I aren't working on some cool thing together?

    Let me know if The Morning comes to northern Wisconsin. I'll stay for the whole set.

    1. Come to think of it, there's a real parallel between rock musicians and techies who "drift in and out of teams effortlessly." They have numerous "side projects" going on—solo or with teams.

      Re a cool project together, lemme noodle on that one.

      The Morning is the ultimate side project, which we've been dabbling with off and on since we officially broke up 45 years ago. Performing outside CT/NY is probably a long shot tho.

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