Good business vibes for Kent rock 'n' roll guru Peter Cook
by business editor Trevor
Rock musician and consultant Peter Cook has been hailed for his
"compelling" ideas on the business lessons to be learned from rock
Mr Cook, who runs Human Dynamics and the The Academy of Rock in
Medway, recently published a trailblazing book called Sex,
Leadership and Rock 'n' Roll.
Pictured right with guitar in hand, he regularly leads business
Now he has won an influential supporter in Adrian Furnham,
professor of Psychology at University College, London.
Writing in a national newspaper, he called the book "clever and
Prof Furnham says rock 'n' roll is a tough industry, with
short product cycles, a capricious market and a business that is
also global, with consequent culture issues.
Staff tended to be "unreliable and unpredictable, and the
consumers are highly promiscuous in their wants and whims. Managing
a band may be lucrative if you have a lot of skill and luck as a
talent-spotter, but it is very hard work."
He says managers in the rock 'n' roll business have to be both
highly creative and practical, as well as fast on their feet.
!It is no good having brilliant ideas that you can't actually
use, or being good at coming up with bad ideas.
"The business is very murky and you have to improve when
strategy is unclear and shifting. Most importantly, you have to
create lots of capacity for self-organisation to allow funky and
creative people to do their thing. That is a very hard balance —
giving people enough liberty to engage them fully, but not so much
that they bunk off."
He added: "Rock 'n' roll managers also have a very good ear for
the shifting zeitgeist. They need to tune in all the time to what
is going on around them."
And they need to be able to do serious playfulness — moving, as
Cook says, from "aha" to "ha-ha" and then "cha-cha".
Prof Furnham concludes his article: "Many management metaphors
are difficult to understand and sometimes are stretched beyond
their application. And because they often relate to experiences not
all of us have had (for example, military metaphors), they can be
less relevant to our daily working lives.
"But few people in western, global, first-world organisations
have not been exposed to popular music or the concept of the
orchestra, and this is what makes the music metaphor so compelling
and relevant to 21st century management."
Meanwhile, Mr Cook is giving the keynote speech at the launch of
his new book "The Music of Business" on Thursday March 7 at
Fruitworks, 77 Stour Street, Canterbury, from 7pm. He will also be
signing copies of the book.
For more information, phone 01634 855267 or 07725 927585.