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



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“EXPERIMENT FEARLESSLY” Source: BusinessWeek, “Type A Organization Strategies: How to Hit a Moving Target”—Tactic #1 “RELENTLESS TRIAL AND ERROR” Source: Wall Street Journal, cornerstone of effective approach to “rebalancing” company portfolios in the face of changing and uncertain global economic conditions (11.08.10)

  • Key words:
  • Fearlessly
  • Relentless
  • “We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were omissions we didn’t think of when we initially wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it over and over, again and again. We do the same today. While our competitors are still sucking their thumbs trying to make the design perfect, we’re already on prototype version #5. By the time our rivals are ready with wires and screws, we are on version #10. It gets back to planning versus acting: We act from day one; others plan how to planfor months.”
  • —Bloomberg by Bloomberg
  • “DEMO
  • OR DIE!”
  • Source: This was the approach championed by Nicholas Negroponte which vaulted his MIT Media Lab to the forefront of IT-multimedia innovation. It was his successful alternative to the traditional
  • MIT-academic “publish or perish.” Negroponte’s rapid-prototyping version was emblematic of the times and the pace and the enormity
  • of the opportunity. (NYTimes/0426.11)

Culture of Prototyping “Effective prototyping may be THE MOST VALUABLE CORE COMPETENCE an innovative organization can hope to have.” —Michael Schrage

“FAIL. FORWARD. FAST.” High Tech CEO, Pennsylvania

“Fail faster. Succeed Sooner.” David Kelley/IDEO

“No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett

REWARD excellent failures. PUNISH mediocre successes.” —Phil Daniels, Sydney exec

“In business, you reward people for taking risks. When it doesn’t work out you promote thembecause they were willing to try new things. If people tell me they skied all day and never fell down, I tell them to try a different mountain.” —Michael Bloomberg (BW/0625.07)

  • Ideas Economy: CAN YOUR BUSINESS FAIL FAST ENOUGH TO SUCCEED?
  • Source: ad for Economist Conference/0328.13/Berkeley CA (caps are Economist)

“The secret of fast progress is inefficiency, fast and furious and numerous failures.” —Kevin Kelly

  • “The essence
  • of capitalism is encouraging failure, not rewarding success.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb/Reason TV/0124.13
  • If you wish, I can muster another 20 “dittohead” slides on this topic.

“It is not enough to ‘tolerate’ failure—you must ‘celebrate’ failure.” —Richard Farson (Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins)

  • “A Rutan principle is that it’s useful to have everyone questioning everything the company does all the time, and especially have people questioning their own work. Rutan makes sure that when employees point out their mistakes, they’re applauded rather than reprimanded.” —Eric Abrahamson & David Freedman, Chapter 8, “Messy Leadership,” A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder
  • Think about this.
  • P-L-E-A-S-E.
  • C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E.
  • A-P-P-L-A-U-D.

“YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU NEVER TAKE.” —Wayne Gretzky

  • All you need to know in life?
  • Act fast.
  • Fail fast.
  • Correct fast.
  • Make bigger and more interesting mistakes.
  • All of life is an experiment.
  • WTTMSASTMSUTFW
  • WTTMSASTMSUTFW
  • WHOEVER
  • TRIES
  • THE
  • MOST
  • STUFF
  • AND
  • SCREWS
  • THE
  • MOST
  • STUFF
  • UP
  • THE
  • FASTEST
  • WINS

“EXPERIMENT FEARLESSLY” Source: BusinessWeek, “Type A Organization Strategies: How to Hit a Moving Target”—Tactic #1 “RELENTLESS TRIAL AND ERROR” Source: Wall Street Journal, cornerstone of effective approach to “rebalancing” company portfolios in the face of changing and uncertain global economic conditions (11.08.10)

  • Yes.
  • Repeat.

We Are What We Eat

We Are What We Eat We Are Who We Hang Out With

  • The point here, perhaps, is that I rank this next to “bias for action” as one of my Top Two innovation strategies.
  • Diversity: “It is hardly possible to overrate the value of placing human beings in contact with persons dis-similar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been, and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress.” —John Stuart Mill
  • Then.
  • Now.
  • “You will become like the five people you associate with the most—this can be either a blessing or a curse.” —Billy Cox
  • Worthy of a lot of thought.
  • Waaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond “amusing.”
  • Instead: STRATEGIC.



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