Barry Barnes, Ph.D., professor and chair of Leadership at the Huizenga Business School, was featured in a blog posting on Friday, April 1 on The Atlantic website regarding his forthcoming book titled “Everything I Know about Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip.” The book is expected to be published in November 2011.
The following is the publisher’s description of the book:
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 his book, 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, learning do-it-yourself business by in-sourcing, and creating a business tribe by collaborating with fans.
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 – and ended up making huge profits.