Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pink Floyd and Company Morale

Being a former rock and roller (my songs sold well under one million copies), I love to read bios on my favorite bands. It's often occurred to me that I run my company like a rock band more than a business, which has its good and bad points.

In the Pink Floyd biography, Comfortably Numb, there's a wealth of business nuggets that can be gleaned such as:

Taking LSD when you have schizophrenia is not going to contribute to a positive outcome. If only America's CEOs understood this... Seriously here are few that stood out to me:

1) Success can be a huge barrier to growth. When PF scored their first hit album, it was devastating for the band, they had a difficult time following it up, egos emerged--they went from four guys who got along well to two factions that fought continuously.

2) Together, they were magic. Apart there were not.

3) Greed never motivates. A constant stresser in the band revolved around who got credit for writing the songs. Song rights are the most lucrative part of the business and the more songs you are credited with, the more money you make every time your album sells.

Think how tough it is to deal with success in business--that's when your tempted to become fat and happy, that's when people think they're the greatest thing, etc.

How many times have we ended a relationship that had magic because we thought we could survive without that person. The truth is you usually can survive it, but if it truly was special, maybe you should have tried harder to save the magic.

And, how often do we create incentives that actually form a wedge in our company and de-motivate?

Sure they all ended up making some Money, but years later I bet they'd tell each other they'd Wish You Were Here.

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