Tom Peter's Reimagine Summit group blog, December 2004

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Toast to 2005

Fellow REI Summitistas, help me! I returned from the Summit only to plummet due to a mountain of "to do's" and am only now just emerging. Where's a girl's "to don't" list when she needs it??? The barbarians have been at the gate, trying their best to drag me back into their nightmare from the dream of the Summit. Until now, their to do's had prevented me from blogging. Only my Blog Or Die sign posted in techicolors on my wall has gotten me through and has warded the worst of them off for fear that my newfound craziness is contagious.

Tom is right! Infection is the answer. I am starting at that most exciting of events: the Annual Meeting. There I intend to unveil my new outrageous plan which is simply to want to keep working, radical, huh? Apparently... This will be the first speech in 7 years where we didn't talk about "the numbers" but instead talk about passion, having fun and maybe even about a quest! Assume that burning at the stake is an appropriate punishment for this departure. What's a poor CEO to do?

I hope my courage holds out and that to do's don't bury me from actually doing something in 2005. My NY Resolution for 2005 - to dream!! Happy Holidays to all of you and may your dreams be in Technicolor and Surround Sound in 2005!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Necessity of Reinvention

Hello All,

In light of all the reimagining we've been talking about, I thought you might find this article written about Townsend Leather interesting. It is the featured article on under the Entrepreneur section with the title "Necessity of Reinvention." The article chronicles how our company has reinvented itself to be more than just a leather maker. Our Big Leap '05 will push us further in this direction as we move farther away from being a leather manufacturer and closer to being a provider of all sorts of "creative interior solutions."

My best wishes for health, happiness, & prosperity in the New Year. Good luck with your own big leaps!


Monday, December 27, 2004

Up, Up, and Away!

I had a Ball at the Summit! We simply must figure out how to keep the Momentum going ... and become a Community that Infects others! You'll see some of my ideas in one of my 12.24 posts at Halley and Erik and I are talkin' REVOLUTION2005!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Exporting Reimagination

I just returned from 8 days in Europe following my attendance at the weekend Reimagine Summit in Manchester. The trip was planned well before the Summit or even the invitation, with a goal of setting up new and market-diversifying sales representation, along with visiting two key suppliers.

The Summit gave me the gift of looking at this trip through a different lens on the world, reimagining the things we could do with/through our new sales associations/relationships. The Summit allowed me to more clearly see our reimagined business and resulted in a sort of an epiphany, our core business would be/should be gone in the next 5 years. My gut feeling/planning has been leading me in new directions already, the Summit/Tom Peters confirmed it. The renewed energy/enthusiasm gained from the Summit allowed me to set the stage for greater opportunities in new markets, giving me the confidence to go "where no man has gone before", at least in my little, (not so high tech but very design focused) industry.

The reception to our new offerings of products, (coordinating leathers, fabrics, carpets) was tremendous and right on target. Why aren't the big guys doing it? (Robert Allen Fabrics and Kravett and others?) We are offering/providing value added in the way we market design solutions for a total design package, they are not. Our customers, in all our markets, are looking for new ideas and help in making their lives/jobs easier. I have tried for three years to get Robert Allen to see it, they didn't/don't, so screw them, I'll do it.

A real neat outcome/discussion occurred with my Dutch supplier. They are already the most progressive of the Europeans I work with, not stuck in the past or tied up with Euro-traditions. He knows of Tom Peters, so I gave him the Reimagine story. I am also sending him and his chief sales guy copies of Reimagine and I suggested he look at a Leap 2005 plan for his business. If I can help him reimagine his business in new ways, the synergy we discussed working together, cross-selling each others products around the world, like he ships to Dubia his products that I sell, at price points at which I can't produce, but under my label and invoice, while he sells my branded design leathers to his traditional furniture customers, who are looking for something with a greater design element, we both win. We provide a single solution to our customers and grow each of our businesses. In my world, that's cool.

I'd be interested in hearing from any other low tech manufacturing businesses who are trying to reimagine their future. If any of you folks have any contacts, please let me know.

Thanks to all for a great time in Manchester and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Santa's been here

Everyone who's piped up on this blog sounds like they just woke up Xmas morning and found everything they'd dreamed about...and then some. It's true Tom's Summit was a gift...and it keeps on giving. Still thinking about the impact of it all, but one thing's clear. This was REALLY what I mean by verbal intercourse...everyone gave and everyone got. And it was good.

Happy New Year!

Wish Us Luck

I'm not sure whether this is a holiday gift or nightmare, but it certainly is interesting. As I may have mentioned to some of you at the Summit, one of my wife's businesses is the marketing and sales of her illustration work ( It has been growing steadily for the past several years, but is still a relativley small "cottage" industry for our family. Well, things appear to have taken a significant turn yesterday evening. For several months now shen has been courting select mail-order and online distributors to carry all or part of her line and one finally bit. Signals, a catalog house that specializes in artistic gifts, prints and such sent us a preliminary contract/product information sheet for inclusion in their spring 2005 catalog...only there is a catch, they need it filled out and returned within 48 hours. Suddenly we're having to go from a home based "cottage" business to a fairly substantial company in two days. We spent the morning lining up our suppliers and fulfillment services, are working on our pricing and identifying the best financing and financial services model for the business. The best part of it all is that we have the confidence to outsource almost all of it, in large part thanks to the vision that Tom talked about at the Summit. The two person, billion dollar a year corporation (ok, we're not that big, but you have to start somewhere) that uses technology and the Internet to manage their business. It's scary and exciting all at the same time.

And if the Signals opportunity doesn't come to fruition, for whatever reason, we still have everything lined up for our anticipated 2005 expansion. Woo Hoo!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I'll keep you posted on progress.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Wednesday Morning in Boston

So it's finally almost human here in terms of temperature -- instead of 2 degrees like yesterday it's actually in the 30's here and headed for 47 -- Yes!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

So, How Was the Tom Peters Summit?

Not unlike many of the participants at the recent Tom Peters' Re-Imagine Summit 2005, I have been asked by several inquisitive, caring friends, clients, family members and colleagues to describe the experience. Whoa ... tough one.

So how does one describe such a great and unique experience? It is, indeed, hard to articulate. It's difficult because of the trickiness in describing the mood, energy and feelings of an event--any event. But it's also difficult in the sense that I know that I have been changed. My view of the world has been changed. My brain is buzzing. I'm pumped full of optimism and confidence. Plus, because it's so recent, the tangible results of the experience are yet to unfold. (Fellow West Virginian and Summit participant Rob Godbey likened the feeling to being the main actor in one of those goofy Viagra TV commercials--and he's not too far off, actually.)

Last Friday, upon receiving the aforementioned question, I responded: "It was quite honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life."

Previously, in e-mail correspondence (where I'm usually far more articulate), I answered the question in part as follows:

How was the Tom Peters Summit? ...................... Oh WOW!

It's been extremely hard to articulate the experience of the Re-Imagine Summit in Manchester, Vermont. Here's my best attempt: a group of 35 with no cynicism, total openness and complete mutual respect. These folks were tops in their fields - authors, professors, technologists, consultants, military leaders, etc.

Tom Peters was so awesome. He was totally engaged, interested, open and approachable. Complete lack of ego. He and his wife had us all to their wonderfully cozy and charming farmhouse for dinner on Saturday night. The party was magical. If any aircraft had flown overhead they would undoubtedly have seen this tremendous tower of bright sparks emanating from the house--all the positive energy and respect.

In fact, with this whole crowd, there was not a trace of ego or conceit. Amazing!

Back to Tom, I had a chance to talk one-to-one with him about his style and manner as a speaker. He stressed that it's all about the customer (the audience). He talked about how important it is to be completely self-effacing. And he certainly back his belief up with his actions in the way he led the process. The agenda was very, very open. It was almost as if the topics didn't matter. He would entertain any question and permit any discussion at any time. It was about whatever we wanted to talk about. (Yet still relevant & extremely compelling.) How cool, huh?!!!!!

In closing for now, I extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the Summit participants. May your holidays be wondrous ... and your 2005 wondrous, too!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Great Talk - What you gonna do?

OK, now I and everyone agrees that the REISummit was great! Cool People! Great Ideas! Uplifting! Yada Yada Yada! So, What are you gonna do?

I went out on a limb Friday. Told my whole IS staff (35 white collar proffesionals) that I was removing the entire heirarchial structure. That's right. Director is now Office of Project Management. Everyone is now a PSF (Professional/Personal Service Firm). They are now free to step to the place and hit homeruns!

Of course, 7 people think it's great. 9 people think I'm crazy (well, I am). And the rest wonder what I was talking about. I'm still working out a lot of details, but it doesn't start till 1/1/2005 so I've got a couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted.

So, what are you going to do?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Thoughts on Ephiphanies

Okay - so I had a bit of extra time on my hands...feel free to contribute your own ephiphanies.

Ephiphinate - The process of communicating ones epiphanies to the masses.

Unephiphany - The loss or temporary misplacement of one's intuitive grasp on reality through something simple or striking.

Ephiphanist - A person who is well skilled in the fine art of ephiphanies

Ephip - Slang for Ephipany (considered hip)

Ephiphinate - The process of boring others by sharing ones ephiphanies

Ephipicide - The killing off of an ephiphany after it has occured

Ephiphiarchy - An entity ruled by those who have had epiphanies.

Ephiphonomy - Knowledge of the science of ephiphany

Ephiphobia - Fear of ones own ephiphanies

Ephiphistan - A small mideastern country between Afghanistan and Turkistan

Ephiphistesia -The physical feeling caused by and Ephiphany

Ephiphophillia - One who loves having ephiphanies

Change in Perspective

Some of us dissed United for our treatment on the way to the Summit; I want to report how much better it was on the way back.

First, when I checked in at the counter in Albany instead of a surly “your flight’s been canceled, maybe we can get you on another airline, maybe we can’t, abandon all hope …
The guy in Albany was pleasant, hopeful and helpful. He put me on the earlier flight out that was still at the gate and due to pull-out soon.

I rush to the gate, hand another United guy my ticket and he says, “you have at least 15 minutes before we leave the gate and then you will probably sit on the runway for a while, because the weather in Chicago was things backed up. There’s no food on the plane, so if you want something you have time to go grab it.” One of the most thoughtful gatekeepers I’ve run across in a while.

We were on the ground for a while (same flight as Marti & Jordon) and this weather problem was no more the pilot’s fault than the fog on the way up. However, this pilot apologized for the delay at least twice and when we took off he opened the bar as a way of saying sorry again. It made me feel like he cared. What a difference.

As a footnote, the regional jet from Chicago to West Virginia (run by Sky West for United) had an all woman flight crew. Although this is not the only time a plane I was on was flown by a woman, it has not been many times and this plane had a woman pilot, co-pilot and attendant. So Marti and Tom are right, women have all the money and jobs now.

Just as I was wondering what all that multi-tasking in the cockpit might look like, we were all asked to get up and move behind row 8 to help with weight distribution or something. So we were all working together with the captain to get the plane off the ground and forming a nice team bond. I won’t even tell you how different the magazine ads read to me after Marti and David’s presentations.

Goofy Grin

I wrote this on Monday after my return from Vermont ...

OK, I made it back to West (by God, just ask Eric) Virginia around 1 AM via Chicago (hello Marti & Jordan). I had to get up early, skip the workout that usually wakes me up and rush to the office to meet a client. The client does not make it (good excuse of course) and I am still grinning, thinking now I have time to figure out how to put things on the blog.

I feel like I am in one of those Viagra commercials where everyone I pass today returns the smile and says things like: lose some weight Rob? – get a haircut? – buy some new clothes? So far, I just continue the goofy grin and just say no that’s not it.

I am not sure (yet) how to explain that what returned the smile to my face was spending most of a Friday being mishandled by the travel industry, being locked in a room with a bunch of brilliantly “bew-T-full” people for a couple of days, and being thoroughly beaten with the Re-imagine stick! (I’m not quite sure where to put that exclamation point)

Thank you all for putting the smile back on my face and a special thank you to Tom for providing the STICK.

Best wishes to you and yours as you leap.

At Long Last

I've been wanting all week to post to this book of Genesis but Blogger would not let me in when I knocked -- accused me of a "blog invitation error." But Eric the Great came to my resue and now I'm in. Thanks Erik! And thanks to one and all for a fabulously fabulous weekend with the inimitable and peripatetic Tom Peters.

I am especially grateful for the opportunity Tom gave Marti Barletta (who is also remarkably inimitable and peripatetic) and me for the opportunity to present our views of the world. And Tom's right: women, boomers and geezers is where all the real action is.

By 2010, the 45-plus cohort will be outspending the 18-45 age group by a cool $1 trillion -- $2.6 versus $1.6 trillion. I'd say we're talking real money.
But we're also talking real challenges -- you can't rack up big sales figures without speaking to women, boomers and geezers in their language and in ways that reflect their values.

Thanks again and Happy Holidays to All,


Those Saturday Night Champagne Glasses

On Sunday morning, after a fun two (rainy) days of the conference, the temperature dipped and the snow came. If the Equinox hotel and the town of Manchester, VT were beautiful even in the rain (and they were), it was heavenly in snow.

I had a room right over the bar ... don't ask! ... and had stayed up late, so when I pulled the curtains back to look down on the main courtyard to find snow, I was very groggy, much amused at the change of weather and basically thrilled. It was like cradling a new baby in white fleecy swaddling clothes in your arms! How fresh and sweet. Might give people the idea one CAN reimagine a new way of living, thinking, being.

As I walked down to the conference area, I noticed four wine glasses sitting on the banister of the porch left there from the night before. There had been a wedding taking place Saturday evening and this was the aftermath.

There was something funny and lovely about the glasses sitting there filling up with snow, despite having been left behind half full. They were refugees, Saturday Night Soldiers, from the wild soiree of twelve hours before and seemed unseemly in this quiet gorgeous Sunday morning Vermont snow. I wrote this about them.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Can't Get Over the "TO DON'T" List

I really still am totally "ga-ga" for the idea of replacing your To Do List with a To Don't List. Love it, love it, love it. And I know Tom gave that quote attribution to someone else, I have to dig that up and credit it, but in the meanwhile, didn't want to forget to mention it.


todd sattersten of 800 CEO Read has blogged the summit. check out his notes from the weekend. scroll down to his posts from "Week of December 13."

So now I get it

re-read my way-too-formal "virgin" blog and realize there's a whole new language to this blogging stuff. I'm learnin' and like it!

Here's to epiphin' in 2005

It was terrific to meet each of you at the's clear the dialogue has just begun. Let me know how I can be helpful to any of you.

Have a wonderful holiday. Here's to keeping the conversation going!

Susan Bird

What Was I Thinking?

I got my beautiful fuscia Susan Sargent pillow home from Vermont, only to put it on my couch and notice how much it needs a mate. What the heck was I thinking? The poor guy can't live here all alone. Looks like it's time for a trip down to Newbury Street.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hey Erik, An Anagram

Anagram for Horizontal Double Dummy: Hoodlumize but randomly

Nuggets from my notes

Some more nuggets gleaned from my notes ... some new, some old, all worth remembering:

  • I loved Tom's preference for a "marketing scheme" instead of a "marketing
  • "You can't lead the cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a
  • What Tom said about himself and Waterman: "We didn't mean to spawn the
    plasticized mission statement industry."
  • "Inspired Profit Mechanic"
  • "Never bite off less than you can chew."
  • "Nothing tells more about you than your calendar."
  • "If 99% of people don't get it, your opportunity is 100 times greater."
  • "Nervy acts that reframe what we do."
  • And still my favorite ... worth repeating: "Wussiness reaches its peak at
    exceptional heights in the enterprise."

What other tidbits caught your attention?

Reality Check

So, I get back to the office and find this:

Meeting Notice Subject Line:
“Two-day Workshop: Synergizing roles/responsibilities/deliverables across Product Marketing and Message Awareness”


Time to start forming a parallel universe. Thanks again to everyone for the inspiration.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Marketing to Women presentation slides

Hey, everybody - how ya' doon'? (that's my version of a bee-yoo-teeful accent).

Lots of youse asked me for copies of my slides, so I wanted to let you know I posted them on my site at .

I know you'll be careful to say where they come from, so feel free to spread them around and share the news. A little viral marketing is a bee-yoo-teeful thing!

Food for Thought

REI Summit--the title can't even come close to how impactful the experience was. This gathering of people, all passionate about work and about how to engage others to bring that same passion to the workplace, was beyond WOW! Tom Peters' food for thought and energized presentation--remember 26 minutes-- fueled and nourished an already well-fed group full of their own ideas about how to turn the world on its head to build passion and profit in the world of business.
The Summit embodied the leadership principles that Tom espouses--it walked the talk and it rocked. It was all about people, connection, engaging hearts and minds, setting and reigniting fires within to enable each and every one of us to let go of the old and LEAP into the new to achieve results of which we never dreamed. Imagine--or Reimagine that!
Looking forward and moving ahead--Pam Brill

Partying Saturday Night

Just wrote a post over at Halley's Comment about the Reimagine Summit Party on Saturday Night. Wasn't it terrific?

And the pictures are fun too. Thanks so much Jordan.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Weekend Pictures Posted

I have finished posting all of the pictures from this weekend. I have not edited them, so that almost everything I took is up in one of four albums.

This is the Saturday afternoon album. You will see the others listed at the top. My suggestion for best viewing is to click on start slideshow. You will then be able to walk though the entire album. When you have viewed one album, you can click on another album at the top of the page.

Hope you enjoy. Comments are welcome.

Apparently water wasn't their only problem

Yep, the "quantifying water" comment was mine and if anyone wants to use it feel free. BTW - If you have a chance to pick up the new BusinessWeek and read the cover story, you'll see that apparently "water" wasn't their only problem.

Regarding the Summit - WOW! what a great event. It was wonderful meeting everyone, hearing their POV, listening to Tom and coming away with so many new ways of looking at things that my brain feels like it's fizzing. Thanks everyone for the inspiration.

As I was going back through my notes from Saturday morning one really random thought hit me regarding Tom's point about China opening a new factory every 26 minutes. If workers are gaining technical knowledge by working in a western owned factory for four or five years and then taking it to a domestic one (instead of good old fashioned technology theft), are we really just engaged in a huge national economic apprenticeship program? Am I the only one thinking this way?

Once again thanks and I look forward to keeping up with everyone.

WOW! We must all be Weirdo's

What a blast this weekend!! You don't find a group like this everywhere. Then it occurred to me as I drove home (it didn't take me as long so they must've shorten Rt. 30 over the weekend) that this Summit was the ideal place to connect with other "weirdo's" and crazies. Maybe that's why we meshed so well.

WARNING: I was thinking about the presentation on marketing to women and how to take advantage of both the women and boomers/geezers market for Tunefly - when I found myself uncontrollably pulled into the Orvis store on my way home. So be careful...this is powerful stuff. (Both Marti's and David's presentation were terrific!)

Quantifying Water

just wanted to be sure we didn't lose track of the "quantifying water" phrase. i believe that was andrew hayden who shared that with us. thank you. if i'm wrong, correct me, please.

random thought: the book title, "Built to Last," when anagram-ized, becomes
"Bullit Toast."

great seeing old friends this weekend and meeting new ones. thank you all.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Wow! weekend (Picture enclosed)

Just got back into Chicago after a two hour flight delay in Albany. It was a great delay however, Marti was on the same flight so we spent nearly four hours comparing notes and learning more about each other and our businesses.

Having been a veteran of the summit a couple of years ago, I have to say this one had a completely different feel. I really felt that the group connected at a much deeper level, and the conversations I participated in were some of the most interesting I have had in years. What a great group of folks. As I sat on the bus last night heading back from the wonderful evening at Tom and Susan's, I listened to the voices around me, and there was an exciting energy.

Anyway, here is a post of our group picture. I will post the others, and put a link here shortly.

Great to meet you all. Halley...thanks for the blogspace!

Click on the thumbnail picture to access other sizes.

Manchester Summit

Hey look Halley, I did it!

I just wanted to jump on and thank Halley for the great blogging lesson today, and thank everyone for enduring a winter trek up to Vermont. Those who had issues at the airport, I promise it could have been much worse and I hope everyone made it home safely and weren’t too delayed. I had a fantastic time this weekend! There were so many terrific people and terrific ideas. It was great finally putting faces with e-mail addresses (ahhh, technology) and voices on the phone.

To All Summit Attendees

It was truly fabulous to meet everyone at the summit this past weekend. Just imagine how things will be once everyone LEAPS into 05 with new energy, enthusiasm and passion! The world awaits all your creative brain power and great ideas. Share your ideas with everyone that you meet and get insights from many different places. Continue to reframe and scrunch your ideas until they become those gleaming golden nuggest that you will be proud to boast about!

Be well everyone and let's stay connected.


Albany Airport Flight Delay

What fun to be with all of you this weekend!

Flight delays are no fun, but airport wi-fi makes it easier. I pulled out my notes while waiting for the ATC delay to expire, and this was one of my favorite Tom quotes (among many) from the weekend:

"Wussiness reaches its peak at exceptional heights in the enterprise."

reis weekend

A quick thank you to Tom Peters and the Tom Peters Company (re-imagined) for a great weekend in Vermont. You inspire and challenge me, and you make me better at doing what I do, and I'm good at it because I do have the passion. I love my business, its people, its ever-changing opportunities, my awesome kids in the business and the great products and services we provide. And Halley, thanks for showing me the way to blogging, this is my first.

To David Holland, if you're out there in blogger's world and joining in this fray, it was a bonus to get to know you and to now call you my friend. I look forward to our next meeting. May your Leap 2005 plans exceed even your own expectations.

Thanks to all you other REIS'ers for your contributions in making this another great learning experience by sharing your ideas and thoughts.

Terry Kucel

Let's Try This

Who says you can't blog!?! Come on, jump in!

And four score and something like that. This is a sample of indented text actually.

Seth Godin's Change This

Seth's got a cool site called Change This, where he's published Tom's way cool booklet: This I Believe: Tom's 60 TIB's .

Also there are two little books about blogging you might want to read: One by Robert Scoble, the very well-known lead blogger at Microsoft, called The Corporate Blogging Manifesto, and one by me, called The Art of Alpha Female Blogging. Mine is kindof sexy, his isn't, but both are fun to read.

BTW, here's Scoble's blog, called Scobeleizer and my blog called Halley's Comment.

Here's A Quick Sample Blog Post

Here's a simple post:

Our address for this site is:

But who cares -- all you need to remember is that BLOGGER is where you go to blog.

When you use your id and password it will put your stuff on the REI Summit Blog.

New Bloggers

Hi guys -- check your email and you should get an invitation to join our blog.

Here's a link.

I'm going to write the word REI Summit and then I'll come back and put a link to those words.

Any words you see in BLUE are a link to something -- so click on them to find out.

It's like little hidden treasures.

Need Your Email Addresses

It's easy to add all you guys -- but I need your email addresses. Can I get you to email me at or just sign up on the paper going around the room.

Post Number Two

Okay, now I've downloaded the Picassa Hello software so we can post pictures but I'll have to fiddle around with it a bit before I figure it out. Back soon with pictures.

Boy, This Took A Long Time

So I just set up this new blog for the Tom Peter's Reimagine Summit here in Vermont. It took ... 3 minutes to set up a new blog. And everyone was teasing me about it. Now they'll have to just shut up .... and BLOG!

BTW, it's snowing here and very beautiful.