Annotated master (“the works”) presentation/ Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!



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  • ANNOTATED MASTER (“THE WORKS”) PRESENTATION/
  • Tom Peters’
  • Re-Imagine EXCELLENCE!
  • Initially prepared for:
  • HR Indiana and e-town Festival Edmonton
  • Modified/expanded/24 September 2014
  • (For more see tompeters.com and our fully annotated 23-part Master Compendium [“Mother of All Presentations”] at excellencenow.com)

CONRAD HILTON …

CONRAD HILTON, at a gala celebrating his career, was called to the podium and asked, “What were the most important lessons you learned in your long and distinguished career?” His answer …

Remember to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub.”

  • They come for “location, location, location.” They … COME BACK … because of the tucked-in shower curtain.
  • (And [ALL] the profit is made on the return visits and recommendations to others.)

“EXECUTION IS STRATEGY.” —Fred Malek

  • Fred Malek, wildly successful entrepreneur, came to Washington—and was my boss at the White House and in the Office of Management and the Budget in 1972-74.
  • “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.”
  • —Omar Bradley, commander of American troops/D-Day
  • This is as important an idea as anything I have ever come across.

“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. Pick a general direction … and implement like hell.” —Jack Welch

  • “Mr. Strategy” says strategy ain’t that big a deal. Execution is the thing.

“COSTCO FIGURED OUT THE BIG, SIMPLE THINGS AND EXECUTED WITH TOTAL FANATICISM.” —Charles Munger, Berkshire Hathaway

EXECUTION IS THE JOB OF THE BUSINESS LEADER.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

  • No matter how crazy and disruptive the times are … Execution Excellence is (as always) the sine qua non of success and durability.
  • BELIEVE IT.
  • (FYI: Bossidy was Welch’s Vice Chairman before leaving to take over Allied; his book EXECUTION, with Ram Charan, is pure gold.)
  • “Great Quotes”
  • NOT.
  • The worst feedback I can get on some slide is, “That was a great quote.” Well, I think some of them are pretty darn good. But the point of this presentation is reflection and discussion—and action.
  • Fact is, I see each of these “great quotes” as fully operational—translatable into “TTDNs”/Things To Do Now.
  • My great hope is that you will take some bits that pique your interest, ponder them, talk them over informally or formally with colleagues—and, as you see fit, develop a concrete effort to test them in your organizational context.
  • I’m in this thing for learning and action and personal/organizational improvement—not as a provider of “great” or “clever” quotes.
  • Okay?
  • EXCELLENCE!
  • People!
  • Customers!
  • Action!
  • Values!
  • Excellence1982: The Bedrock “Eight Basics”
  • 1. A Bias for Action
  • 2. Close to the Customer
  • 3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship
  • 4. Productivity Through People
  • 5. Hands On, Value-Driven
  • 6. Stick to the Knitting
  • 7. Simple Form, Lean Staff
  • 8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight
  • Properties
  • In Search of Excellence in … 4 words.
  • (No kidding.)
  • In Search of Excellence/ twitterized /127 characters including quotation marks and spaces:
  • “Cherish your people. Cuddle your customers. Wander around. ‘Try it’ beats ‘talk about it.’ Pursue EXCELLENCE.
  • Tell the truth.”
  • Twitterization.
  • Circa 2014.
  • EXCELLENCE is not a “long-term” "aspiration.”
  • EXCELLENCE is the ultimate short-term strategy. EXCELLENCE is … THE
  • NEXT 5 MINUTES.*
  • (*Or NOT.)
  • EXCELLENCE is not an "aspiration."
  • EXCELLENCE is … THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES.
  • EXCELLENCE is your next conversation.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is your next meeting.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is shutting up and listening—really listening.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is your next customer contact.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is saying “Thank you” for something “small.”
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is the next time you shoulder responsibility and apologize.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is waaay over-reacting to a screw-up.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is the flowers you brought to work today.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is lending a hand to an “outsider” who’s fallen behind schedule.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is bothering to learn the way folks in finance (or IS or HR) think.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is waaay “over”-preparing for a 3-minute presentation.
  • Or not.
  • EXCELLENCE is turning “insignificant” tasks into models of … EXCELLENCE.
  • Or not.
  • “Mr. Watson, how long does it take to achieve excellence?”
  • “One minute. …”
  • “One minute. You make up your mind to never again consciously do something that is
  • not excellent.”



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