Product reviews for Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll

Creativity Unlimited website,
Every once in a while a business book appears that inspires the reader to email friends and colleagues to go out and buy it - this is such a book. Make sure you start reading it at a time when you'll be able to get through the whole thing: it's a “can't put it down” book. Tom Peters comments on the cover “A brilliant, original, rockin', Rock'nRoll model of business management and leadership” and Peters is an apt comparison - this book has all the inspiration of Peters' books without the occasional tendency to bloat.

Peter Cook is a business creativity consultant, and creativity oozes out of this book. We've commented before on business books that are just too long to be practically readable. Cook makes this book sing by using the text on the left hand pages follow a steady flow, while each right hand page is a side comment, an intervention, an expansion - it works superbly well.

At the heart of the book is the contention that modern leadership has to be more like Rock'n'Roll. Historically we had a more orchestral style of management - clear direction from the top, a detailed score to follow and woe betide the player who strays from the written notes. Now that style will mean doom for an organization. In the past John Kao has suggested jazz as a metaphor for business creativity, but Cook points out that jazz is too sophisticated, too high falutin' for the majority. Rock'n'Roll allows for improvisation, but has more structure and commercial nous - it's a significantly better model, particularly when looking at business leadership.

Perhaps the only aspect of the book that can be criticized is the tendency to use puns based on songs and titles - there's rather too much “as insert name of performer would say” - but that's a minor quibble.

Cook's book isn't a recipe book - it's about setting a direction, not about giving you concrete instructions: “do this, this and this and your leadership will succeed”... but then good leadership can't be like that. If you take the lessons for this book your business is on the road to success. It'll probably be an unconventional road. It'll probably be fun. But hey, you can't have everything.
Guest | 05/06/2006 01:00
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