Book Review: RE-IMAGINE!

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by Tom Peters

Dorling Kindersley ©2003
352 pages

Business Excellence In a Disruptive Age

Tom Peters is on a mission to reinvent the modern business. As the internationally bestselling author of In Search of Excellence and many other books, Peters has made a name for himself as a world-renowned innovative management guru who continues to create better ways for executives to succeed through change and reap the benefits of pursuing “the (Increasingly Possible) Impossible Dream.”

Peters explains that he was inspired to write Re-Imagine! because he is “madder than hell.” Throughout his book, he rants about the organizational barriers and the egos of

“petty tyrants” thwarting the good intentions of enterprising people in numerous ways. After each rant, which appear at the beginning of each chapter, he sets out to reinstall the will, passion and know-how into every executiveand employee who is ready to take on a renewed sense of individual responsibility.

Exciting Services and Opportunities

Peters explains that business is at its best when it aims to foster growth and deliver exciting services to customers and exciting opportunities to employees. In an effort to empower organizations and the people who can use their instinctive curiosity and creativity to drive them forward, he shows them how to add value in a meaningful way using invention, service, creativity, vision and innovation.

To drive readers toward the colorful light he envisions, Peters launches a full-scale assault on the opportunities lurking beneath the surface of complacent bureaucracies that are slowly becoming obsolete in their old-fashioned ways. Peters believes in the idea that we are “on the verge of the biggest and most profound wave of economic change in a thousand years,” and writes that clinging to ideals like order and efficiency is not going to help organizations create the true innovation they need to survive in this new environment. His vision for better business includes a new breed of enterprise that is flexible, empowered, innovative and entrepreneurial. He touts Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Charles Schwab as examples of businesses that have embraced change and left deeply-imbedded competitors in the dust. He explains that organizations must train themselves to embrace an entirely new set of rules. Cunning, speed and surprise are the roads to competitive advantage these days, he writes, and hypercompetition is the only competition that is left.

Against Zero Defects

Throughout Re-Imagine!, Peters challenges and lays to waste many of the management practices that have been flaunted as the answers to every organizational problem known to the business world, and replaces them with a new way of thinking about succeeding in the current marketplace. When he states that he is “100% Against Zero Defects,” he explains that zero defects is great in an environment that is known, but says it is “Death Itself ... in Ambiguous Surroundings.”

Peters writes that it is time to destroy the myths of business and get to the act of reinvention. While quoting as well as challenging hundreds of business leaders and their books, he is able to shatter age-old hype and replace it with the wisdom of the people who have gotten it right and succeeded by challenging the business status quo. ~

Why We Like ThIS Book

Re-Imagine! has the look and feel of a text book from a more dazzling, not-too-distant future, designed for forward-looking executives who are ready to embrace change and grow from venturing into uncharted territories of innovation and imagination. Peters’ ability to transform lofty lessons in people management, customer satisfaction, dream marketing, and dozens of other business essentials makes Re-Imagine!! an important reference guide for any organization that is ready and willing to embrace change and build a brighter future. Along the way, he also reinvents the modern business book by embracing a bombastic design and writing style that offers readers more information, punch and zoom than anything else in the field. ~

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