Authors Q&A

Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence is out and we are so excited to share it with you. Curious what the authors, Tom Peters and Nancye Green, were thinking when they wrote/designed it? They answered a few questions for just that reason:

Do you believe Extreme Humanism is relevant for every field?
Passionately. As designers, for example, we are taught to care about people and what matters to them when we are trying to solve a design problem. Are our products useful? Our instructions helpful? Do they satisfy a real need? Do they delight? In short, respect each person’s needs and differences. At the core, that is “humanism.”

Why did you create Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence?
I’ve been talking and writing about Extreme Humanism, Excellence, and Business Excellence for a long time now. But this book is “not my show.” This book spotlights the voices of others—from every discipline or industry or even pulpit—who have inspired me, and who I hope will inspire you too. And by “inspire” I mean…inspire you to act and act now.

How did you get involved in this book?
I’m a designer who founded a movement called un/teaching, which is meant to bring thought leaders together to contribute to a more humane and just world, to learn compassion, and unlearn old patterns. Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence was a natural fit for my passions.

How does the message differ from Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism?
The message—at its core—is the same. Put people first! Be a stellar community member. Create the best, not the cheapest. What I’ve changed is the message delivery. Instead of reading my arguments (900 pages in Liberation Management), Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence is designed for the reader to pick up, to read a quote or two or three, and to begin to digest it and test its relevance.

How does art overlap with business?
Design can build value, shape markets, as well as educate, engage, and inspire. As a designer I use a process fueled by empathy and compassion, aimed at serving people and society. I believe it takes all of us using our unique talents and insights to build a more humane world, where business has a critical role in serving the greater good.

How do the arguments here hold up as the nature of work changes radically, as AI challenges the legitimacy of almost all of our jobs?
“Hold up”? Put simply, these messages are far more important than before. As tech shortcuts arrive by the nanosecond, how do we keep our humanity—and even broaden it? I think the approaches to Extreme Humanism described here help us create exquisite products, motivate one and all to constantly grow, and make us all utterly determined to “make the world a little bit better.” It is the only path for us and our communities that matters.

Find out more about the Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence and un/teaching.

Holly Bauer posted this on November 2, 2022, in Excellence.
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