Tom Peter's Reimagine Summit group blog, December 2004

Friday, February 25, 2005

Wussiness Revisited

Ok, so I've been thinking about, and experiencing a lot of examples of our favorite comment at the Summit "The Level of wussiness increases the higher one goes in an organization" and have a minor modification. See what you all think:

The level of wussiness increases the higher one goes in an organization and the ability/willingness to confront reality decreases proportionally.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Re-imagine Reading List

I need some help. I was preaching the gospel according to Tom before the Summit in December and since the time spent with all of you my impassioned pleas for re-imagining have only increased. A shorter version of the story is that I am now charged with leading a reading (book) club. Of course the first book is Tom’s Re-imagine! My problem is trying to round out the rest on the reading list. {Keeping with the religious theme one proposed name for the club is the Re-imagine! Reading Revival :-) }

Here is the problem as I see it. I need a list of around 12 books (more is fine) on the general topic of Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age; and a logical order of reading and discussing them. We are looking for the economic development version of Think Global, Act Local, where the themes in Re-imagine are global and acting local means applying them to (small) business in West Virginia.

· The target audience and area has these attributes:
· Small business – around 90% of the businesses in WV have 5 employees or less
· Some belief that the key to economic development is entrepreneurship
· A low entrepreneurship rate
· A scarcity mentality – someone has to lose for someone to win
· A history of extraction and process industries in decline (salt, timber, coal, chemical)
· We do not want to assume they have read any business books

So, I am NOT trying to create a list of the best business books of 2004, but a list of books (one list I have includes Vonnegut) that you should read to understand business today and where it is going. A reading list that will help the start-up with 25 employees double in size and reach profitability this year; and help the business that has been around for a generation and has over 200 employees hand-off to the next generation. A reading list that will help politicians understand what business-friendly legislation really is and help parents understand that our schools need to change now. I don’t care if they are business classics, fiction, or hot-off-the-word-processor e-books. I just need to help people see the disruptive age as opportunity instead of another curse on their house.


Friday, January 21, 2005


I've been asked to give a very brief presentation to our Corporate Communications Group on Monday the 31st talking about the Summit. I have some ideas, but would love to get any suggestions you have for what I should talk about. (PSF33 anyone?).

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It's a Boy!

Lisa and I found out today that we're having a baby boy!


We have a wonderful, three-year-old daughter, Chloe. I've become accustomed to being Daddy to a daughter. Plus, on my wife's side of the family tree, there hasn't been a baby boy in almost 50 years. Five daughters. Four grandaughters.

Finally ... a boy!

What a blessing!!

Someone asked me how I felt. Here's a stab at describing it:


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Get Out Your Books!

I know you still have those cool binders full of Tom's Powerpoints. Open one up -- to any page -- and jump back into that room in mid-December where our heads were all whirling at top speed.

Wasn't the Summit the best Christmas present you got?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Yes, I write Poetry

What other things do you do? I've discovered lately that writing poetry helps me understand my feelings. So I've been doing it. Here is one I wrote today.

Another Day

It is morning
I grab my coffee and look out on the snow
The drab winter subsides as I notice birds in flight
Flittering around they brighten my day.

It is afternoon
I go for a walk in the woods and see all the trees
The afternoon sun glistens on the branches
It catches my eyes and gives me hope.

It is evening
I sit by the fire and remember the day
The crackling fire reminds me of my trials
As it slowly diminishes the day is done.

It is night
I close my eyes and lay down to sleep
In my dreams I am fulfilled and happy
Tomorrow is another day.


I got home the other night and was talking to my wife about some of my frustrations at the office. As with many companies this one has a fairly well entrenched culture in which the vast majority of employees have never worked anywhere else. The result is a fairly narrow perspective and a serious case of "not invented here" syndrome. In the mix are a small group of us who have a great deal of outside experience and a much broader perspective. For the most part we are all frustrated. After talking for a while, my wife looked at me and said, "You're working in Pleasantville" (the movie where everyone is in black and white until a couple of new characters enter the picture in bright technicolor). That hit the nail on the head - technicolor people versus black & white culture.

The beauty of it is that I had the pleasure of watching several people in a meeting yesterday turn from B&W to technicolor in the course of about ten minutes. This meeting was with a new executive, whom I hadn't met before, but who was obviously already in technicolor from the moment we first started talking. I don't think the other four people in the room said a word for the first forty five minutes while he and I talked passionately about such things as vision, and opportunity and stories and values and customer successes. By the end of the meeting the entire room was glowing.

New goal added to my list - Bring Technicolor Perspective to an otherwise Black & White world.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Light Our Fires

Have you ever watched a young child run enthused into a room of peers to show off a new toy or Ninja move, a great story or a really silly joke? Well this mother of four has. Typically the other kids would flock around the emboldened child, eager to see the goods or to learn the moves or the joke. The energy would spiral and so would spirits--the first kid's energy was catching! The same thing happens with us adults, right? Except too often the first person's passion is squelched by those looks that we all know, the ones where people look out over their glasses or roll their eyes in a 'curb your enthusiasm' judgment. It's a lot harder to maintain the enthusiasm and energy in the face of such a critique. And FELLOW REI SUMMITEERS, I believe that is our role. So my solution and resolution this year is to be bold and be myself and hold on to that enthusiasm and to provide any assist that I can to other Summiteers who find themselves losing ground to a bunch of adults who may have lost their passion. Because energy is contagious. Let's spread the high kind around with continued passion, energy, and imagination. We can change the world even when it's only one energy force at a time! "An assist is as good as a goal."--The Great Wayne Gretzky