No time for reflection, beeping BlackBerrys, and a grind-it-out mechanistic process. Where’s the time for fun to build creative, motivated teams?

Client loyalty expert Andrew Sobel writes about a team that learned to deliver the highest-level of performance while having fun at a legendary scale — the Beatles. Four ordinary guys found a way to achieve extraordinary artistic and financial success and have a great time together while they were doing it.

Sobel has distilled 10 principles for improving creativity and innovation based on the Beatles’ creativity and team work:

1. Eight Days a Week — Face Time: Invest in and build face time between team members well before they are asked to pitch to a client.

2. Getting Better — Evolving Your Songs: Evolve your “songs” and bring the same level of ideas, new perspectives, excitement, and enthusiasm to your hundredth meeting with a client that you brought to the first.

3. Nowhere Man — Practicing Humility: Cultivate humility and self-effacement in your dealings with others, especially when you’re on the heels of great success.

4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da — Using Humor to Connect: Use humor, especially self-deprecating humor, to ease tensions, show you are human, and create an emotional connection with colleagues and clients.

5. With a Little Help from My Friends — A Role for Everyone: Help team members become brands-within-a-brand by giving them a song — an idea or proposal — that will help them to shine.

6. Here Comes the Sun — Honing Your Opening Measures: Carefully craft the first 60 seconds of all your communications — the opening measures of your songs — to command your audience to listen.

7. P.S. I Love You — Liking Your Public: Show your public — your clients, in every interaction, that you truly like them.

8. Two of Us — Sharing the Credit: Create a one-for-all, all-for-one culture by fostering a “Lennon/McCartney” equal-credit environment for teams.

9: Revolution — Having Conviction: Make sure your communications resonate with passion, belief, and sincerity — with conviction — if you want to be noticed by busy executives.

10: I Need You — Greatness from Differences: Put exceedingly diverse professionals on the same team, mix specialists with generalists, and foster friendly competition to produce the best ideas.

Andrew Sobel is a leading authority on building client relationships and is the author of business bestsellers Making Rain: The Secrets of Building Lifelong Client Loyalty and Clients for Life: How Great Professionals Develop Breakthrough Relationships. His Beatles Principles article first appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of Strategy+Business.

A pdf of the article can be downloaded at Sobel’s Web site —