Ruth Blatt, PhD ’08, has always loved
rock music. But it wasn’t until a viewing
of the 2004 Metallica documentary
Some Kind of Monster that she started
to equate it with what she knew
about organizational behavior.
“It struck me that they were a self-managed
creative team and a small business,"
Blatt said. “And they were excellent at it!"
Ever since, she’s been exploring what
the successes and failures in the lives of
musicians can teach us about creativity
and teamwork. In blogs and articles for
Psychology Today, The Atlantic, Wired,
and Forbes, Blatt’s “The Rock Band Project"
chronicles the lessons she learns by pairing
her finely tuned ears with analytical eyes.
Blatt spends a lot of time asking questions
of rock stars, so it’s only fitting that she
join the ranks of rock star Ross alums
who’ve been asked our 20 questions.
What’s most-played on your iPod? “Doolittle" by Pixies.
What’s a book you’ve read recently? The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan,
Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and
the Head-on Collision of Rock and
Commerce by Fred Goodman.
What is your guilty pleasure? Gangsta rap.
First album you ever bought? Thriller by Michael Jackson.
What advice would you give yourself
10 years ago? Stop eating meat.
Favorite person to follow on Twitter?
@TheOnion because comedy is a
great reflection of our culture.
(You can follow Blatt at @RuthBlatt.)
Best business decision?
Getting a top-notch education that
taught me how to think critically
and introduced me to an amazing
community of people.
Favorite line from a movie?
“Well, which is it, young feller? You
want I should freeze or get down on
the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze,
I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop,
I’m a-gonna be in motion." From
If you had a theme song, what would
it be? “I’ll Be Your Mirror" by the
Describe your first job. My first job
was detasseling corn on Illinois farms.
I was 13 years old. We’d get picked
up by a bus before dawn and detassel
corn all day, which entails standing on
a slowly moving truck and picking off
the pollen-producing flowers from
the tops of corn plants.
What’s the most adventurous thing
you’ve ever done?
What are you afraid of?
First website you access in the morning?
Most-cherished Ross experience?
Being pushed by my professors to
do better and through that discovering
what I am capable of.
To have a great singing voice.
Three people, living or dead,
that you’d have over for dinner?
Laurie Anderson, Truman Capote, Ice T.
One thing you learned in business
school that you’ll never forget is…?
Ask people what you can do for them.
Must-have app on your phone?
Where is the strongest connection
between rock music and business?
Success in both requires working
well with other people because you
can do more with them than you can