Brainpower

We are entering the 4th industrial revolution. This is not the age of steam, coal or manufacturing, but the information revolution, where value is created primarily through the intelligent combination of knowledge and wisdom.

How shall we cope in a world where it has variously been predicted that up to 50% of our jobs will disappear in the next few decades?  What does that mean for education, where the half life of knowledge is in freefall? What will become of money in such a world?

These and other topics are the subject of a new book I’ve just released with Gower / Routledge entitled “Brain Based Enterprises“.

Click to view on Amazon

Brain Based Enterprises offers a unique synthesis of cutting edge academic research and pragmatic insights into business practices in the art and discipline of leading and managing enterprises where ideas, intelligence and insight are the currencies of sustainable collaborative and competitive advantage (SCCA). From the first signs of intelligence through making axes and fire, we now have access to unprecedented powers of creation through the convergence of humanity and technology. Rapid and dramatic advances in our understanding of genomics, biotechnology, computing and robotics make it possible for us to create a better world or destroy what we have created. Brain Based Enterprises explores both sides of the equation so that you can choose wisely.

Four scenarios for our union between man, woman and machine

Brain Based Enterprises draws upon leading edge research but expressed clearly and concisely for the busy person seeking to inform and illuminate themselves with a rich mixture of pragmatism and wisdom. Featuring numerous case examples from companies ranging from biotechnology to banking and bots, Brain Based Enterprises grounds the ideas and relates to busy people seeking practical inspiration.

Brain Based Enterprises addresses questions such as:

  1. How shall we function in a world where man and machine will have interchangeable and complementary functions?
  2. How will we re-organise organisations to make best use of collective cybernetic and human intelligence?
  3. What will intelligence actually mean in a world where we are drowning in data? Instead how shall we swim with information?
  4. How may we become more intelligent, individually and collectively?
  5. What can and should Governments do to encourage intelligent societies?
  6. How will education need to change in order to continue to be relevant and effective?
  7. What role can leaders and Human Relations specialists play in stimulating an enterprise’s collective synapses? How can they engender climates and cultures where ideas, intelligence and insight are the norm?

The book and our other offerings lend themselves to keynotes and longer masterclasses via our websites Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock.

Rather than drowning in data we must learn to swim with knowledge and wisdom in the machine age

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The Art of Listening

I met Dame Evelyn Glennie recently at an event I was invited to at The Bank of England. A remarkable dialogue took place about the gentle art and discipline of listening, expertly organised by Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at BoE.

Evelyn Glennie has been deaf since her teenage years, yet she developed as a percussionist and ‘feels’ sound through her body.  She opened the 2012 Olympics using the Aluphone:

Why then would The Bank of England have someone from such a different world come to address an invited audience?

Glennie talked passionately about the art of listening. All businesses could improve their abilities in this area, especially as the speed / rhythm of business continues to increase and that decreases the spaces for meaningful conversation. I have experienced this at first hand through my work with Dr Andrew Sentance, former Monetary Policy Committee member at the Bank of England, himself a musician, and via 25 years of consulting with a huge range of businesses and organisations.

Much business conversation is really discussion, based on the root form of percussion or “to beat around”.  Whereas physicist David Bohm talks of the need for dialogue, where there is a genuine enquiry.  Complex business issues demand dialogue more than discussion and yet most businesses are time limited so issues tend to be beaten around rather than relying on more skilful inquiry.  I call such issues “wicked problems” and they require high level listening, collaboration and complex problem solving skills.

Music, simply stated, is applied physics. Banks run on mathematics and science but the gap between music and mathematics is mostly an imaginary one, installed at an early age when we are judged to be more arty or scientific. At the highest levels art and science are often indistinguishable. Our job as leaders is to “improve the signal : noise ratio” in business.  This of course can be done badly by shutting down conversation or improving our abilities to hear … this, itself opens up a much wider dialogue …

Thus business could learn a thing or two from music and vice versa.  Hats off to The Bank of England for hosting such an engaging event as part of their outreach series.  Here’s a TED talk from Evelyn Glennie, where she elucidates further on the gentle art of listening:

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock – Speaking and Conference facilitation and Human Dynamics – Business and Organisation Development. Check his books out on Amazon:

Transferable lessons for business from music

Ethic Cleansing

In a world where people vote on 3 or 4 words, such as Take Back Control or Make America Great Again, I thought I’d reduce the artform to just two words and a song:

Sign This.

Click to Sign

Then Share.

Politics relies on trust to operate. 

The currency of trust has been devalued. 

Let’s take back control of ethics. 

Make Britain Great Again. 

Damn EU

Tomorrow marks the release of our 7th single in the Rage Against The Brexit Machine series.  Fiscal Cliff charts the story that led to the last major recession and which sewed the seeds for our decision to self harm by leaving the EU:

Click the links to pre-order the song:

Here is the video to whet your appetite:

And the lyric …. written in bus shelters, banks, bath, beds and bars :

The story behind the song – Illustrations by Simon Heath @SimonHeath1

As with many things in modern life, the ideas for the song started on Facebook – with big thanks to Andee Price for finding me within an hour of asking for a professional bass player on Facebook and Christopher Gamble for his “online oral stimulation”:

I placed an ad for a female bass player on Facebook and within an hour I had three recommendations for Andee Price – she read the advertisement accurately and responded. A true professional.

 

A Song for Europe

We have a Eurovision … no, we have not written a Bucks Fizz record … we see the prospect for a better Britain in a united Europe and have written a heartfelt song to capture that vision.

Will you help us chart the song this week?  It needs just 79 pence to buy a copy, preferably on multiple platforms … see below for links.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” is Madeleina Kay’s “Song for Europe”.  The song speaks to our hearts of all the things we stand to lose if we leave the EU.

“Don’t Throw It All Away” has moved several people to tears with its perfect storm of Madeleina’s poetry set to music.

The song was written in a stairwell at the European Union by Madeleina in an emotional outpouring after she was removed from the EU Chamber for daring to wear a Supergirl costume to a Brexit Briefing by our “Brexit Bulldog” David Davis.

This orchestral version of “Don’t Throw It All Away” was recorded and produced by Peter Cook in his studio “The Basement of Cognition” with vocals recorded at Rock God Bernie Torme’s Barnroom Studios in darkest Kent.

Recording session for “No Jeremy Corbyn” with Rock God Bernie Torme and Rage Founder members Gareth Dylan Smith and Doug Grannell

Sony Records’ associate Mark Christopher Lee said of the song:

“Don’t Throw It All Away compares favourably with Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Vienna”.  There is also a little bit of Nico in Madeleina Kay’s voice”.

The original acoustic version is here for comparison:

Place your order for the song on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play now: Just click the images to find the song online. We are aiming for Top 40 success, not so much for the fame, but to “take back control of the media from Murdoch’s Murderous Media Machine”.

Did you stop to think
what you would sacrifice?
When on a whim
you took their advice.
 
What did you think you’d gain?
Why did you leave?
Which broken promises
did you believe?
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
 
It’s easy to cast the blame
when you’re hurt
Unaware of all the falsehoods
that you assert.
 
Don’t be reckless now,
just think before you act,
There’s still time to apply
the knowledge that we lacked.
 
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.
Don’t you live your life
of regret
But on your fateful fortune
I will place my bet.
Soon your unsubstantiated
optimism
Will dissolve amidst its
criticisms.
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s just so many reasons to stay.
And if you let me have my way
We’ll make a better tomorrow, today.

 

Fake News devalues the Currency of Truth

This article from Breitbart is both hilarious and simultaneously depressing.  It is the stuff that caused Gina Miller to receive death threats and a quick read of the comments shows that there is a willing public ready to consume such garbage and make all kinds of random leaps of faith based on limited information. Part of the problem is that we are now “drowning in data” rather than “swimming with information” – an issue I am presently writing about for my latest book. In a world of information overload there can be a tendency to simply accept headlines at face value, especially for time deprived people or those of lower general intelligence.  Breitbart’s headline also distorts the truth, where  “emotional blackmail” has been substituted for the actual idea, which asks young people to speak with their grandparents, who, after all have the balance of power in the relationship, as some of the comments to the article suggest. It is a pure distortion of the story to suggest that young people are blackmailing their grandparents. Worse still it promotes the kind of hate that leads to more radical action. I believe in a free press, but freedom comes with responsibilities.

Click for Breitbart … if you dare

Our journalists devalue the currency of the truth with such tactics. It does nothing to improve respect for the press. What exactly is wrong with asking young people to speak with their grandparents about values and beliefs?  What are Breitbart afraid of?  Why are they saying this?

Read some of Madeleina’s work by clicking the picture

My own sister consumes much of this garbage via the Daily Mail.  Her husband told me that we must leave the EU because “there were two million rapists waiting to come to England from Berlin, sponsored by Angela Merkel”.  I could not really believe what I was hearing at Sunday tea over the Battenberg cake (damn German name for an English cake of course – presumably also the EU’s fault !! 🙂

Older knows better ?? I’m old and I am ashamed of my peers’ stupidity

Trump, Brexit … we need a new world order.  Undoubtedly there is massive dissatisfaction with our politics around the world, but our knee jerk populist response to this is informed by fake news. In the words of Robert Allen and members of The E Street band “Is There A Way To Know?”

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Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics. Author of 8 books on leadership acclaimed by Tom Peters, Charles Handy, Harvey Goldsmith and Adrian Furnham. Featuring an interview exclusive with Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson.

 

No, Jeremy Corbyn!

A superb interview by Rebecca Buck with Madeleina Kay et moi about the “Rage Against The Brexit Machine” project which seeks to crush Brexit Populism with Pop Music. Do check our suite of songs out on Amazon, ITunes, Google Play and let’s Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain …

We now have three songs online so please buy them now and tell your friends … Pants to Brexit, No, Jeremy Corbyn and Jacob Rees-Moog.

Conversations with Europe

I’ve interviewed both Peter Cook and Madeleina Key for Conversations with Europe over the last few months. As two of the most high profile and creative pro-EU campaigners at the present time, it was inevitable that I’d soon be chatting to them about a joint project.

RAGE Against the Brexit Machine, which I’ve also written about previously, is a Crowdfunded album of songs to fight Brexit, a project created by Peter Cook but with a team of collaborators, many of them high profile. You can find about more about the whole project in my previous article.

No, Jeremy Corbyn is the biggest release of the project so far. And, the comma is important, as Madeleina was keen to point out. Here’s my chat with Peter and Madeleina.

1. Tell me about your single No Jeremy Corbyn. What style of music is it? When we can buy it?

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