There are many metaphors for the workplace. A company can be like a ship, sailing uncharted seas. Some workplaces aim to be like a family. Many organizations want to be like well-oiled machines.
The most traditional metaphor, that unfortunately still informs much of our thinking, is the company as a military unit with lines of command, enemies, battles and strategic objectives.
Metaphors have power. If you see your workplace and career through a certain lense it will affect your thinking and your decision-making.
Now Henriette Weber of Toothless Tiger has come up with the coolest metaphor I have ever seen for a business: The company as a rockband.
Click here to download her awesome free e-book which explains the idea in detail. It’s a quick, fun and fascinating read.
Our company is already a lot like a rock band. We do drugs, trash hotel rooms and drink tons of alcohol. And don’t even get me started on the groupies.
JUST KIDDING!! It’s more that:
- We allow ourselves to be different.
- We do work that we and our clients think is really cool.
- We inspire people with what we do and who we are.
- We have a great time and give our audience a great time.
What about you? Is your workplace like a rock band? Do you get to feel like a rock star on the job? Does what you do create admiring fans?
Or is there a different more apt metaphor for your workplace? Write a comment, I’d love to know what you think.
10 thoughts on “Why your company should be a rock band”
Thanks for this,
The metaphors we use are powerful – I’ve compared business to dancing and romance before:
All the best from Brighton,
Our company is not a rock band, not even a TV-soap…I do use the metaphor of a sailing ship on a journey a lot, because it works. But back to music. We are not a folk song band either. Not classical… Hmm maybe we are a techno pop fabricated group with geeks creating great music and pretty girls to “sing” and promote the CD cover… yepp..
No, seriously, thank you for providing this link, like the idea of the rock band metaphor. But I think we might be having some serious problems with the drummer…
Btw: Loved the “return on involment” statement in this e-book. That is the core of what I try to teach young people entering their first job. If you engage in the people around you, the people around you will engage in you…It’s almost Karma baby! :)
Mark: Dancing is a great metaphor too – as is music in general.
Frode: Everyone knows drummers are the most messed up guys in the band :o)
I just found you and I have to say my business is more the rock band still in the garage. OK, that is not all together true. I have made great progress but still small favorable potatoes with lots of spice.Smooth sailing emm, more like a fast motor.Traveling at such high speed only sees where she is going and not where she has been.
We definitely use that analogy at work. Our IT guys are our ‘backstage crew’ or roadies, they even have their own t-shirts. In our performance ratings the highest ranking you can get is ‘Rockstar’ status :) Helps to have a company logo that can be transformed pull off an afro
Hi Alexander, it means the world to me that you like my eBook – it has been a work in process and has been thought over so many times – starting out as one shape of a conference talk – ended up as an eBook and as another conference talk at next09. I am thinking about doing a version 2 adding more insights and more on “why it is important to think your company into something else than a company”.. I really love the rockband metaphor – the fun part comes when you ask people WHAT kind of rockband their company is… Im rage against the machine of course =)
Our school sets out to be ‘like a business’. Maybe I should share with them this concept of companies being rock bands!