It’s Only Rock & Roll But It Scales Up

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 30, 2018

Rock N Roll uses Scale Up MethodHow Transformation and Scaling Up Helps In Business

When you think of high-growth business, rock and roll may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But make no mistake: it’s big business. In fact, the music industry (in which rock music is the biggest financial contributor) generated $43 Billion last year. That’s music to someone’s ears. You may say it’s only rock & roll but it scales up! It’s also an industry that thrives on disruption. Here’s how transformation and scaling up turned one band into one of the top earning bands in America.

I’d like to call your attention to a rock band that took what some might consider a crowded market space, came up with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, scaled up their business (which just happened to be rock and roll) and took the market by storm.

Thinking Differently

Paul O’Neil knew all about touring with a rock band. It could be exciting, but it was grueling. It’s a hard life and it’s tough to break through and make a name for one’s self. Some bands stand out because of their style. Others created personas for themselves and used that to get noticed. O’Neil, however, had a different vision:

I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd. I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band and at least 18 lead singers.

Doing It Differently

It wasn’t just a big new idea that set O’Neil’s band apart—it was also the way they executed their vision. For the most part, the band only performs two months out of the year—in November and December. And yet, millions of people know and love the Christmas concerts of Trans Siberian Orchestra. Billboard magazine named them one of the top touring artists of the last decade. They are a $20 million-plus production that has played to over 100 million people in more than 80 cities. The band has sold more than $280 million worth of tickets. Their albums have sold more than 10 million copies. And they have given some $11 million to charity.

Scaling Up

Trans Siberian Orchestra became so popular during the Christmas season that they had to scale up operations. How do you scale up a band? Due to demand, they actually had to create two orchestras. The two versions of the band have swapped out members over the years, with the one constant being that each of the groups has been led by one of the original guitarists to preserve the sound and feel of the performances.

The band has enjoyed huge financial, popular, and critical success over the years—and they only tour two months out of the year! Don’t get me wrong: they work hard all year long, but the grinding and grueling touring part of their business is held to a minimum.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I’m not suggesting that you give up your day job to form a rock and roll band. The point I’m trying to make is that it really doesn’t matter what your industry is. Even in an industry where it’s hard to stand out, you can make a distinction between yourself and your competition. But it won’t happen if you keep doing things the same way month after month and year after year. It requires a transformation of your business—and of your leadership.

That’s where a great business coach can help. This is what I do. It’s my passion. You may say, it’s only business . . . but I love it! Let’s talk about how I can help you transform your business and scale it up to make a big difference.