Disrupt with Jonathan Greye


The Persistence Of Identity: Embodying Disruption in a Conformist World

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In this episode of "Disrupt," I guide you through the intricate dance of disruptive innovation.

We delve deep into the historical and psychological underpinnings of humanity’s aversion to change, shedding light on the eternal struggle between the safety of familiarity and the excitement of the unknown. 


Through the lens of Salvador Dalí’s remarkable life and art, I explore the transformative power of embracing our unique identities and challenging societal conventions. 


Join me on this journey of discovery and together we’ll learn how to disrupt the norm to make a lasting difference in our industry and the world.

episode #3 transcript

Hey I’m Jonathan Greye and this is Disrupt – A podcast, where we dive deep into the art of disruptive branding. Together, we’ll explore bold strategies, innovative ideas, and the daring mindset required to transform your brand from mundane to memorable. 


So if your business is looking to challenge conventions, embrace innovation, and redefine what it means to be disruptive in today’s attention economy, then you’re in the right place. 


Welcome to Disrupt.




Since forever, humanity has stood at the crossroads of comfort and curiosity. 


Each step into the unknown has been met with a cocktail of apprehension and wonder. 


The invention of the wheel, the birth of the written word, and more recently, the creation of A.I. — each disruptive milestone was initially greeted with skepticism, only to become integral to our very existence.


The roots of our resistance to change are as ancient as they are psychological. 


The human brain is hardwired to perceive the unknown as a potential threat since it’s our primal instinct to survive. 


Yet, embedded within this caution, lies an insatiable thirst for curiosity, a desire to transcend the limitations of our present and embrace the promise of a brighter future.


As we stand on the shoulders of giants, gazing into the horizon of possibilities, it becomes clear that our relationship with disruption is not a battle but a dance. 


A dance between the comfort of the known and the allure of what could be. 


(1930’s Music)


Consider the tales of those who dared to dream differently — visionaries who painted a world so compelling that the masses couldn’t help but notice. 


In 20th-century art, few figures stand out as vividly as the surrealist painter, sculptor, and writer, Salvador Dali.


Dalí’s work not only disrupted the conventional art world but also challenged societal norms and the perceptions of everyday reality. 


Dalí’s work is characterized by its striking, bizarre, and intricate dreamlike images. 


His most famous painting, “The Persistence of Memory,” with its soft, melting clocks set in a surreal landscape, challenges the viewer’s grasp of time and reality. 


Dalí’s art transcended painting; he ventured into cinema, branding, and advertising, collaborating with icons like Alfred Hitchcock, Coco Chanel, and Walt Disney. 


(Music Fades)


Dalí’s embrace of surrealism and his flamboyant public persona garnered both acclaim and criticism.


He was known for his outlandish stunts, such as delivering a lecture while wearing a deep-sea diving suit, claiming it represented his deep dive into the subconscious. 


In 1955, during a book signing for his autobiography, Dalí arrived in a Rolls-Royce filled to the brim with cauliflowers. 


He had an obsession with the fractal patterns of cauliflower, which he believed represented a “divine” geometry connecting the vegetable to the universe.


These bizarre spectacles were typical of Dalí, who often incorporated seemingly nonsensical elements into his public appearances to challenge perceptions and provoke thought, blending the absurd with the profound.



(Mysterious Music)


While many were charmed by his antics, others viewed them as distractions from his artistic talent, questioning the sincerity of his contributions to art.


On one side, admirers saw Dalí’s outlandish behavior as an embodiment of surrealism’s core tenets, celebrating the breakdown of logical barriers to explore the unconscious mind’s creative potential. 


They argued that Dalí, in living his art, made surrealism accessible and relatable, inviting the public to partake in its dreamlike wonder.


Critics saw these antics as a smokescreen, and ultimately a distraction from the substance of his work. 


They questioned whether Dalí was being sincere with his exploration of surrealism or if it was a cunning maneuver to monopolize the spotlight. 


Whether you love or despise him, Dalí remains a polarizing figure in art history.


His ability to stir controversy was not merely a byproduct of his work but an integral part of his artistic and personal identity.


(Music Fades)


Dalí fully embraced disruption, understanding its power to shake up the mundane and provoke deeper reflection on art, society, and the self. 


He ensured his place in history not just as an artist but as a master disruptor whose legacy continues to challenge and inspire.


So the question is, what invaluable lessons can we distill from Dalí’s extraordinary life? 


And how do we integrate these eccentric qualities into our businesses and personal brand?


Here are 5 ways you can leverage Dali’s disruptive nature.


(Inspiring Cinematic Music)


1You Have To Live Life Unapologetically


Dalí embraced his surrealist nature, never compromising on his vision or conforming to the expectations of others. 


His commitment to his unique perspective and surrealistic approach set him apart in the art world. 


Dalí’s example underscores the importance of embracing and nurturing your unique identity  brand. 


Authenticity and uniqueness are your most invaluable assets.


2Transform Your Obstacles into Opportunities


Dalí turned the skepticism and controversy surrounding his work and persona into part of his allure. 


He understood that disruption often comes with resistance but used this as an opportunity to further highlight his distinctive style and philosophy. 


This teaches businesses and individuals that obstacles and resistance can be powerful catalysts for innovation and differentiation. 


Facing challenges head-on and finding creative solutions can transform potential setbacks into unique selling points.


3Leverage the Power of Storytelling


Dalí was a master storyteller, using both his art and his life to weave compelling narratives that captivated audiences worldwide. 


He knew that a strong narrative could intrigue, inspire, and connect with people on a deep level. 


Crafting a compelling narrative around your products, services, or company mission can create emotional connections and foster loyalty among your audience.


4Keep Pushing Boundaries


Dalí continuously pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible in art, experimenting with new techniques, mediums, and ideas throughout his career.


He wasn’t afraid to venture into unknown territory or to reinvent himself. 


This mindset is crucial for anyone looking to disrupt their field. 


Innovation requires a willingness to explore uncharted waters, challenge conventional wisdom, and embrace change as a constant.


5Create Impact Beyond Your Industry


Dalí’s influence extended far beyond the art world, impacting fashion, photography, and even advertising. 


His ability to apply his creative vision across different domains illustrates the potential of disruptive ideas to transcend their original contexts.


(Music Fades)


By applying your core principles and innovative thinking in various contexts, you can amplify your influence and create a lasting legacy.


Salvador Dalí teaches us that to truly disrupt, we must dare to dream differently, embrace our unique vision, and not shy away from the challenges that come with breaking new ground. 


Whether in art, business, or any aspect of life, it’s the bold ideas and fearless pursuit of innovation that leave an indelible mark on the world.


(Outro Music)


That’s all for today’s episode of “Disrupt.”


Before you go, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 


Do Salvador Dalí’s surreal visions capture your imagination?


In what ways do you anticipate disruption reshaping your field of work?


Share with me on social media or drop me a line.


And if you liked this episode, don’t forget to subscribe for more stories of innovation and disruption.


Thanks again for listening and remember…


Keep challenging, keep creating, and keep disrupting. 


See you next time!

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