The Music of Business

The Music of BusinessWe recently did one of our masterclasses on business excellence mixed with music for the BBC and Bloomberg TV, featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan’s guitar player.  Check the Bloomberg piece out below:

As part of the masterclass, the media people wanted a number of business lessons from music summed up in one sentence.   Something of a challenge given that I spend a lot of my life teaching MBA’s where length is generally considered to be more important!   Anyway, we aim to satisfy so here are top 10 business / music tips on Relationships, Motivation, Strategy, Creativity, Leadership and Marketing.  There is much more on the parallel lessons for leaders and creative people in the books Sex, leadership and Rock’n'Roll and Punk Rock People Management.

1. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga – If you’re having trouble in a work relationship, change what you’re doing, rather than banging your head against the same wall.

2. Like a Virgin - Madonna – To succeed in business, treat each day like its the first time.

3. Knowing me knowing you - Abba – If you want to serve someone really well, find out their wants, needs, whims, foibles, fancies, fantasies, fanaticisms and ensure what you are offering touches the parts that others cannot or dare not reach.

4. Reasons to be cheerful - Ian Dury – Reasons to be cheerful at work include: being listened to; doing things that count; understanding why they matter; being part of something; not having to do pointless tasks; getting meaningful feedback on what you do and so on.

5. Who killed Bambi? - Sex Pistols – Separate conflict over work from conflict over personalities. You can have a good bun fight over a project, but once things are settled, move on and don’t harbour grudges towards the people.

6. I can’t control myself – The Troggs – Creativity without discipline rarely leads to innovation.

7. What do I get? – The Buzzcocks – Pay people well enough, but don’t just focus on pay as the reward for work. This reinforces the conversation about ‘What do I get?’

8. Walk on the wild side - Lou Reed – Encourage mavericks, madonnas and the odd primadonna at work if you want new things to happen.

9. Sexy MF – Prince – Style always wins over substance.  Once you have got your product sorted, go for style every time.

10. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for – U2 – Business needs constant learning and reconnaissance.  If you stop looking and learning, just like Kodak, you may disappear from view.

Coming soon, a new book and app called The Music of Business.  Contact me here for details.

To finish here’s a clip of some of the coverage from BBC TV featuring the motley crew of Dolly Parton, The Clash, Lou Reed and Ian Dury:

Our Bloomberg video:

image credit:

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Peter Cook is Rock’n'Roll Innovation Editor at Innovation Excellence.  He leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock, and provides Keynote speaking, Organisation Development and Business Coaching. and  You can follow him on twitter @Academyofrock

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2 Responses to The Music of Business

  1. Shefali Chhachhi says:

    Nice…but not sure I agree with no.9.. style + substance and not in place of , determines success

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