Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!

Forget>“Learn” “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.” —Dee Hock

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Forget>“Learn” “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.” —Dee Hock

Success Kills! “The more successful a company, the flatter its forgetting curve.” — Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

Forgetting >> Learning

We need a FORMAL … “Forgetting Strategy.”

  • "Barn's burnt down … now I can see the moon." —Masahide, Japanese poet


“Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource.” —Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class

“My wife and I went to a [kindergarten] parent-teacher conference and were informed that our budding refrigerator artist, Christopher, would be receiving a grade of Unsatisfactory in art. We were shocked. How could any child—let alone our child—receive a poor grade in art at such a young age? HIS TEACHER INFORMED US THAT HE HAD REFUSED TO COLOR WITHIN THE LINES, WHICH WAS A STATE REQUIREMENT FOR DEMONSTRATING ‘GRADE-LEVEL MOTOR SKILLS.’ ” —Jordan Ayan, AHA!

“Every child is born an artist. The trick is to remain an artist.” —Picasso

Ye gads: Thomas Stanley has not only found no correlation between success in school and an ability to accumulate wealth, he’s actually found a negative correlation. ‘It seems that school-related evaluations are poor predictors of economic success,’ Stanley concluded. What did predict success was a willingness to take risks. Yet the success-failure standards of most schools penalized risk takers. Most educational systems reward those who play it safe. As a result, those who do well in school find it hard to take risks later on.” —Richard Farson & Ralph Keyes, Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins

  • Muhammad Yunus: All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self-employed . . . finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began . . . As civilization came we suppressed it. We became labor because they stamped us, ‘You are labor.’ We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.” —Muhammad Yunus/
  • The News Hour/PBS/1122.2006
  • “We are in no danger of running out of new combinations try. Even
  • if technology froze today, we have more possible ways of configuring the different applications, machines, tasks, and distribution channels to create new processes and products than we could ever exhaust.” —Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy
  • “The ecosystem used to funnel lots of talented
  • people into a few clear winners. Now it’s funneling lots of talented people into lots of experiments.”
  • —Tyler Willis, business developer, to Nathan Heller in “Bay Watched:
  • How San Francisco’s New Entrepreneurial Culture Is
  • Changing the Country,” The New Yorker, 1014.13

Innovate or Die: Measure It!

Innovation Index: How many of your Top 5 Strategic Initiatives/Key Projects score 8 or higher [out of 10] on a “Weird”/“Profound”/ “Wow”/“Game-changer” Scale? (At least 3???)

Innovation Index: Move every project (definition) 2 notches up on the “WOWification Scale” … THIS WEEK.

“WOWification” … TOTALLY UN-related to project size!

Innovate or Die: Ubiquitous

Iron Innovation Equality Law: The quality and quantity and imaginativeness of innovation shall be the same in all functions —e.g., in HR and purchasing as much as in marketing or product development.*

Innovate or Die: The Inno17

  • The INNO17: Innovation’s “Seventeen Imperatives”
  • (1) Try it! Try it! Try it!/Ready. FIRE! Aim.
  • “Whoever tries the most stuff the most quickly wins.”
  • Rapid prototype maniacs!
  • (2) Celebrate failure.
  • “Whoever makes the most mistakes wins.”
  • “Fail. Forward. Fast.”
  • “Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.”
  • (3) “Radically” Decentralize.
  • Strong organic growth bias.
  • (4) Parallel Universe—evade standard channels.
  • 1% “play money”/Internal VC fund/“Skunkworks”
  • (5) “We are what we eat.”/We BECOME who we
  • spend time with. Choose purposefully.
  • (6) “d”iversity.
  • Every conceivable dimension./Starts at TOP!
  • (7) Co-invent with (any/all) outsiders.
  • Relentlessly exploit electronic communities.
  • (8) “Strategic” Listening = Core competence #1.
  • Become “Professional listeners.”
  • The INNO17: Innovation’s “Seventeen Imperatives”
  • (9) Hire and promote 100% innovators.
  • Innovator’s characteristic = Angry with status quo.
  • CEO=Innovation “bias”/Walks-the-talk.
  • (10) XFX/Cross-functional Excellence!!!!!!!!
  • (11) Chief Complexity/Systems/Bullshit
  • Removal Officer.
  • (12) Absolute R&D Equality.
  • All functions equal innovators. (All staff Value-add fanatics.)
  • (13) Top quartile R&D spending.
  • So, too, ALL our partners.
  • (14) All projects/Tiny-to-enormous.
  • Must have something new./100% “WOW standard.”
  • (15) Fun!
  • Enjoy breaking the rules.
  • (16) “She” is the customer.
  • Women dominate all markets—develop your portfolio accordingly.
  • (17) All businesses! All Sizes! All industries!

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