Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Thursday, 23 February 2006

Beatles 'are business role model'

Alan Johnson
Mr Johnson harks back to 1960s 'flanging'

Businesses should adapt to the modern world as quickly as the Beatles did during the 1960s, the trade and industry secretary is expected to say.

Alan Johnson will call on firms to "recreate the spirit of Abbey Road" - acknowledged as one of the band's best albums - and show constant creativity.

Industry must show globalisation is a "force for good", he will argue.

Otherwise, it could become "what Vietnam became for the baby boom generation", according to Mr Johnson.

Penny gain

In the speech, to the Lord Mayor's dinner at the Mansion House in London, the 55-year-old minister will call for "Sergeant Pepper Economics", a reference to the Beatles' 1967 album.

Beatles fan Mr Johnson is expected to say: "If the Beatles had carried on producing albums like Please Please Me, they'd have ended up with a dwindling catalogue, dwindling sales and a dwindling audience.

Actors imitating the cover of the Abbey Road album
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"But, by drawing from global influences on the one hand - like the sitar, Californian harmonies and gospel; and scientific advances on the other - like multi-tracking, back loops and flanging, they made every album sound fresh and new.

"We need to recreate the spirit of Abbey Road in British industry.

"We also need a more creative approach in government."

This will be particularly important with the rise of economic competitors like China, according to Mr Johnson.

He will say that "in some of our universities, globalisation is a dirty word. We need to cleanse it".

Globalisation has increased life expectancy, reduced poverty and made wars less likely, he will argue.

Britain must be the "creative hub of the world", Mr Johnson is expected to say.

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