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Peter Cook

Human Dynamics

Managing Director

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Blog: Punk rock HR – Top 10 HR tips from music


Whilst we were preparing for a leadership event the other week, the media asked me to offer them some punchy (and short of course) punk rock tips for business.  

Here’s the ones that got through the press filter on the BBC One News piece with Dolly Parton introducing: BBC NEWS.
And here’s 10 HR business tips that did not make the media.  If you wish to add number 11 to the list, please add a comment.
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 it’s the first time.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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?’
7. Walk on the wild side – Lou Reed – Encourage mavericks, madonnas and the odd primadonna at work if you want new things to happen.

8. I can’t control myself – The Troggs – Creativity at work without precise exection and discipline rarely leads to innovation.
9. 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.
10. Won’t get fooled again – The Who – If something does go wrong, do something different. The only mistake is not learning from mistakes.
For more like this, mail me at with PUNK HR in the title to get a free copy of my latest book “PUNK ROCK PEOPLE MANAGEMENT – A no-nonsense guide to hiring, inspiring and firing staff”.  
What’s at number 11?  Write a comment here.
To finish, listen anew to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga for a bit of punk business attitude: Bad Romance.

Peter Cook is managing director of business and organisational performance consultancies, Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock.

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4 Responses

  1. Pingback: My Homepage
  2. Elected

    Consider yourself promoted to Number One in the charts Dave ! 🙂

    I’m still waiting for the great leap forwards myself.


  3. Number 11.

    Alternative TV – Action, time & vision. 3 surefire ways to success!

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Peter Cook

Managing Director

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