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Janine Milne

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In a Nutshell: Seven songs to ensure career success


Peter Cook is a management consultant who uses his three passions of business, music and science to engage his audiences at corporate events and conferences.

By drawing parallels between the music and the corporate worlds, his aim is to communicate key lessons to business leaders in a way that is more accessible than bombarding them with PowerPoint slides.

Here, Cook, who runs his own consultancies, Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock, offers some bite-size HR nuggets from ‘The Music of Business’, a free iPhone app that he has coming out this month:

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

2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2 – Everyone in HR and the business needs to keep on learning and be on the look-out for new things. If you stop looking and learning, the danger is that you could disappear from view.

3. Like a Virgin – Madonna – To succeed in HR and business, treat each day like it’s the first time. Complacency is a killer.

4. Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division – Love and hate are useful emotions at work as both produce energy and passion. Apathy is a killer, however, since it stifles action. This is probably the reason that Joy Division did not call their song “Apathy will tear us apart.”

5. Price Tag – Jessie J – She claims that it’s not about the money. That may be true if people perceive real value in what you have to offer them. The real difficulty is in articulating the value of what you provide in a concise way so that people will spend money and time with your business.
6. U Got the Look – Prince – Style always wins out over substance. Once you’ve got your HR product or service offering sorted out, go for style every time.
7. Faith – George Michael – Post-disco crooner George Michael reminds us that you’ve got to have faith – faith in people, new ventures and so on. But that faith should not be blind. Check your facts before committing money and time to a new enterprise.