The Grateful Dead is one of the most popular bands of all time and they have enjoyed incredible relevance to this day. But let's admit it, they were not exactly poster boys for corporate America. In EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD, Deadhead and business scholar Barry Barnes proves that the Dead's influence on the business world will turn out to be a significant part of their legacy. Without intending to, the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by American corporations. And in this book Barnes shares the ten most innovative business lessons from the Dead's illustrious career, including:
-Creating and delivering superior customer value
-Incorporating and establishing a board of directors early on
-Founding a merchandising division
-Giving away your product for free to increase demand
Above all, Barnes explains how the Dead were masters of what he calls "strategic improvisation" -- the ability to adapt to changing times and circumstances -- and that their success lay precisely in their commitment to constant change and relentless variation. For an extraordinary thirty years, the Dead improvised a business plan and realized their vision -- all while making huge profits. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD will show you how they did it -- and what your business can learn from their long, strange trip.
Quite possibly the first love letter to a band-cum-business book, Barnes s energetic series of lessons for business success tout the Grateful Dead as unconventional business mavens. Taking a cue from the superfans who quit their jobs to follow the Dead for their entire tour, 20-year corporate man Barnes quit his job to start a serious study of the business legacy of the Dead, using them as a case study in organizational change. He claims they are accidental capitalists, who got their business right by chance and implemented crucial strategic improvisation, planning, alertness, and flexibility all strategies espoused by mainstream corporate America. The communal nature of their enterprise and their genuine respect for their fans led them to build a values culture, be kind to their customers, create a business tribe of Deadheads, make sure fans have the ability to carry out viral marketing (they allowed fans to tape live shows and share the recordings). Jerry Garcia, with his innovative, charismatic, communal leadership style, created an image that CEOs follow now. The information and advice are valuable but hardly new; this is ultimately a fascinating twist on a familiar idea.