Title and Author: In Pursuit of Wow by Tom Peters
Synopsis of Content:
In this 1994 best seller Tom Peters collects anecdotes, interviews, observations, and ideas. While some of its content is a bit dated, most of it remains fresh and relevant. It stimulates thought and challenges us to reconsider all the truths about business, management and how to motivate people.
Peters collected these things for over 25 years. It is somewhat of a hodgepodge of things without a cohesive design. I think he intended it that way. These are things that did or did not make it into other books he wrote. What most of them have in common is the tendency to challenge contemporary thinking and ways of doing things. There are so many good ideas and challenging questions in the book it is difficult to characterize it in one sentence.
He talks about how to get things done, now. He discusses how to motivate people who work for us and with us. He challenges us to look forward, to break the mold, to find new ways of doing things and to be creative. He recognizes the importance of emerging Asia in the marketplace and the value of diversity in the work place.
I probably highlighted more quotes and observations in this book than I do in many. It is full of intriguing thinking. Some of his ideas go against the common wisdom of our time. He assails goals and says they have little value. He challenges hierarchical structures and discussed what was then a relatively new concept in flat management systems.
He brings together small groups of business people and invites them to discuss subjects that are on their mind and active in their businesses. The emphasis here I on what is changing, what no longer works and more importantly on what now works.
Even though some of the events he discusses are dated to the early 1990s it is remarkable how much of it is relevant today. The change we see in the world today, in business and society, did not happen overnight. It evolved over many decades and we only see a snapshot of how it looks at one point in time. In this book you see that snapshot for 1994 but you also see the direction of things to come, things new or even revolutionary then and well established now.
While this book contains some practical advice on how to work with people, how to manage organizations in a new global economy, etc., its biggest contribution is to stimulate thought on change and how we need to keep up with it and use it. This book still makes you think and still challenges many things you think you know.
Well written this book is one you can put down and come back to any time. You can even start anywhere in the book and stop and skip around. It does not build from a structure. It is a collection of things, some new, some old, some perhaps more valid than others.
Notes on Author:
Tom Peters calls himself a business visionary. He is a consultant and author who regularly speaks to Fortune 500 companies and writes for all of us
Three Great Ideas You Can Use:
1. On choosing a career: do what turns you on, not what statistics say will generate the most job opportunities. If you cannot be passionate about your work you will likely be bored with it or worse.
2. Design is important, in both products and services. You must learn the importance of design to expand and succeed.
3. While Peters admits he likes incrementalism, the gradual improvement of things, he argues that the world is changing too fast to rely on that entirely. Change today must be fast and must be somewhat radical to be effective in the marketplace.
In Pursuit of Wow by Tom Peters
Copyright: 1994 by Excel / Published by Vintage Books, Random House.