Manage like Motorhead

2/13/2013

From black swans to freakonomics via the SUMO guy, many business books have an eye-grabbing central motif designed to bring alive the author’s central idea. Fair enough, few people want to read stereotypical management speak when more colourful analogies can be used to electrify the reader’s imagination.

Having been a teenage heavy metal fan and still retaining a soft spot for old war horses such as AC/DC and Motorhead, this writer was delighted to hear of Heavy Metal Management – a guide to business management using the methods employed by many hard rock and metal bands. It is written by Pär-Jörgen Pärson and Hans-Olov Öberg who, as well as being veteran rock fans, have also worked for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Folksam Asset Management, Spotify and McKinsey & Co

motorhead


Of course, at first, it sounds ridiculous. Most metal bands are built on ostentatious excess and a fondness for dangerous behaviour which would have most shareholders running for the hills. And yet, as the authors point out:

‘These gentlemen (for the upper echelons of metal are just as male-dominated as the upper crust of the business sector) have consistently delivered the goods decade after decade. They have overcome conflicts, competitors, rip-offs, a non-understanding society, gigantic shifts in popularity and trends, new forms of distribution, and snobby critics who have proclaimed them defunct and forgotten many times. These Defenders of Rock have managed to retain their core crowds and attract new followers. The business leaders who can claim anything near this level of success are surprisingly few.’

Having interviewed Motorhead’s Lemmy, I can safely say that he probably isn’t up to speed on the finer points of business management strategy in the 21st century. ‘Louder, faster and harder than everyone else’ is about as deep as it gets. None of which has stopped Motorhead the brand from enjoying considerable success over the past four decades. Many a Motorhead fan has a band-themed tattoo. When most companies would struggle to get their employees, never mind their customers, to wear a company T-shirt then Motorhead must be doing something right to inspire that sort of brand loyalty

What Heavy Metal Management aims to do is use illustrate how metal bands have harnessed strategic positioning, branding, client management, organisation and perseverance to create multi-million dollar, global companies.

The Guardian have a more in-depth piece on Heavy Metal Management here. If you think you are ‘badass’ enough then you can take the metal management aptitude test here.

From black swans to freakonomics via the SUMO guy, many business books have an eye-grabbing central motif designed to bring alive the author’s central idea. Fair enough, few people want to read stereotypical management speak when more colourful analogies can be used to electrify the reader’s imagination.

Having been a teenage heavy metal fan and still retaining a soft spot for old war horses such as AC/DC and Motorhead, this writer was delighted to hear of Heavy Metal Management – a guide to business management using the methods employed by many hard rock and metal bands. It is written by Pär-Jörgen Pärson and Hans-Olov Öberg who, as well as being veteran rock fans, have also worked for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Folksam Asset Management, Spotify and McKinsey & Co

Of course, at first, it sounds ridiculous. Most metal bands are built on ostentatious excess and a fondness for dangerous behaviour which would have most shareholders running for the hills. And yet, as the authors point out:

‘These gentlemen (for the upper echelons of metal are just as male-dominated as the upper crust of the business sector) have consistently delivered the goods decade after decade. They have overcome conflicts, competitors, rip-offs, a non-understanding society, gigantic shifts in popularity and trends, new forms of distribution, and snobby critics who have proclaimed them defunct and forgotten many times. These Defenders of Rock have managed to retain their core crowds and attract new followers. The business leaders who can claim anything near this level of success are surprisingly few.’

Having interviewed Motorhead’s Lemmy, I can safely say that he probably isn’t up to speed on the finer points of business management strategy in the 21st century. ‘Louder, faster and harder than everyone else’ is about as deep as it gets. None of which has stopped Motorhead the brand from enjoying considerable success over the past four decades. Many a Motorhead fan has a band-themed tattoo. When most companies would struggle to get their employees, never mind their customers, to wear a company T-shirt then Motorhead must be doing something right to inspire that sort of brand loyalty

What Heavy Metal Management aims to do is use illustrate how metal bands have harnessed strategic positioning, branding, client management, organisation and perseverance to create multi-million dollar, global companies.

The Guardian have a more in-depth piece on Heavy Metal Management here. If you think you are ‘badass’ enough then you can take the metal management aptitude test here.

Written by Jonathan Trew



























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