Business Wisdom: What can AC/DC and Lady Gaga teach you about business, strategy and social media?

What can you learn about creativity and innovation from The Beatles and David Bowie?

What can Spinal Tap, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin teach you that an MBA cannot?

What can Britney Spears and The Kaiser Chiefs teach you about enterprise?

These are just some of the questions I examine in the new book and online learning programme “The Music of Business”, acclaimed by Harvey Goldsmith, the man behind Live Aid. The book offers a carefully crafted cocktail of business leadership excellence, mixed with the business wisdom of pop and rock’s monarchy.  The Music of Business is a synthesis of three passions that have fuelled my career: Science, MBA Business thinking and Music.

The Music of Business examines four facets of Leadership: Strategy, Creativity, Innovation, and Change.  To whet your appetite, here are some short bits of personal development and business wisdom, obtained by some radical leaps of faith from the song titles themselves:


Bad romance – Lady Gaga – If you’re having trouble in a relationship, change what you’re doing, rather than banging your head against the same wall.  In other words, try the new saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try something different.”  Don’t go gaga trying the same thing over and over.

Knowing me knowing you – Abba – If you want to serve your customers 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.


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

Video killed the radio star – Buggles – Video killed the radio star – business wisdom from new wave duo Buggles.  It’s not the competition we know about that kills us. It’s the unexpected entrants to a market that destroy the need for your product overnight. Make sure you look out for the unexpected.


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.

What do I get? – The Buzzcocks – Pay people well enough, but don’t just focus on pay as the reward for work. Pay only removes dissatisfaction and reinforces the conversation about ‘What do I get?’  Recognition is a much better motivator over the long term as long as pay is perceived as fair.


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.

Won’t get fooled again – The Who – If something goes wrong, do something different. The only mistake is not learning from mistakes.

The Music of Business is available in hard copy and Kindle.  It is also available as a Udemy Course with special discount for the first 10 subscribers via  “The Music of Business


About the author

Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock, providing Business Consulting, high-level facilitation and keynote speaking.  Peter is a scientist, business academic and consultant.  Author of five books on business and creativity including “The Music of Business”, “Punk Rock People Management” and “Sex, Leadership and Rock‘n’Roll”, acclaimed by Professor Charles Handy, Adrian Furnham, Tom Peters and Harvey Goldsmith CBE.

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