One of my very first jobs was as a recording engineer. Working with musicians, I set up and operated the complex recording equipment that's used to capture, shape and mix the sounds of an album. After working with many artists, I noted there were two kinds of musician: those who wanted to spend more time sitting behind the workstation pulling the knobs and levers until something was "perfect," and those who just wanted to play and be "in the zone." More often than not, the musicians who focused on the playing had the best takes and achieved the best results.
Since those early days, my engineering career has taken me from working in music to financial services and now to marketing and advertising. However, there's always been a constantno matter the industry, the focus must always be on how best to unlock creativity. And the creativity comes best from being in the zone.
This may seem an odd idea coming from someone of a decidedly technical bent who holds a doctorate in machine learning. However, as marketing continues to be disrupted by technology, it will be critical for brands to get "in the zone" for peak creativity and not get lost in the tech weeds. This will be more important than ever as we enter the AI era, where machine learning can inspire human learning and we will have access to exponentially more powerful tools for us to use as we create.