As Report on Business noted yesterday, there is much that business can learn from the world of music. The Globe section cited an article by Andrew Sobel in strategy+business magazine in which Mr. Sobel draws four principles of teamwork from songs by the Beatles. Eight Days a Week suggests the hard work necessary to become a cohesive team; Getting Better addresses the need to evolve; With a Little Help from My Friends encourages letting teammates shine; I Need You speaks of diversity and friendly competition.
But the Beatles were nothing if not prolific, and legions of other applications await discovery in their tunes. Embezzlers who milk their firms dry and abscond before anyone is the wiser can hum Ticket to Ride. For the Benefit of Mr. Kite is a thinly disguised paean to the joys of kiting, that time-honoured practice of passing fraudulent cheques, invoices and receipts. Yellow Submarine cautions against buying faded machinery, Something (in the Way She Moves) deals with sexual harassment in the workplace, Fool on the Hill is a sneer at parliamentary regulation, and it's no coincidence that Eleanor Rigby contains the word "rig," as in bid-rigging. Early in their career, they covered Barrett Strong's ode to greed, Money (That's What I Want), and composed their hymn to insider trading, Do You Want to Know a Secret?
As for companies drowning in red ink, the choice is clear. Help!