Change Management

Tom has delivered a three day online seminar this week on Change Management hosted by our longtime colleagues, WOBI. He covered a wide swath of practical actionable steps you can take now as you manage your way through such turbulent times. You can find his slides for all three days, which include bonus material, plus the handout PDF, below.

WOBI Change Management Digital Seminar Day 1: Building an Unstoppable Organization By Tapping the Potential of Every Employee

WOBI Change Management Digital Seminar Day 2: Innovation Is Everybody’s Business

WOBI Change Management Digital Seminar Day 3: Leading as the an Unrelenting Commitment to Excellence-in-All-We-Do and Unflagging Devotion to Awe-inspiring Execution

WOBI.Handout.29 Number Ones 0625.2020

27 Number Ones in the Age of COVID-19

Best practices for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic seem to shift by the minute. With government regulations in flux, businesses both large and small rethinking "business as usual," and a cloud of uncertainty looming over the world at large, change has been the name of the game for these last few weeks and months.

Yet certain priorities remain constant despite this global volatility. While work may be the last thing on your mind as of late (and understandably so), strong, capable leadership remains as pivotal as ever. Leadership, per Tom, that puts people (really!) first. In seeking to encourage leaders to create a "sustainable and humane workplace" in the age of COVID-19, Tom has released a new piece titled "Excellence 2020: The 27 Number Ones." In it, you'll find succinct guidance about where to focus your leadership—from hiring and training to culture and management—now and always. In conjunction with this piece, Tom has released a series of observations loosely organized around leading effectively in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. You'll find both documents below.

In a time of so much change, it's reassuring to know that Tom has been advocating for many of these ideas for over 40 years. Ideas that, in many cases, are more essential now than ever before. While the specific steps you take to implement these strategies may look different today than they would have last year, there are always ways to bring excellence to your workplace by keeping your focus on people.

Stay safe and be well.



**UPDATE** Tom has added more!



Some Good Stuff

Like many of us in this age of home isolation and social distancing, Tom has also been cleaning out the cobwebs in his closets. While organizing his digital home, he came across a 2006 PowerPoint titled “some good stuff.”

From Tom: 

“I read it and it is indeed … SOME GOOD STUFF! Hence, I thought it was worth sharing with you!”

Tom has since reformated the PowerPoint into a document for you to read. And we agree, these quotes have aged like fine wine. Enjoy!

SOME GOOD STUFF.quotes.2006.0525.2020

Listen in!

In these exceptional times, Tom stresses the need for inspiring and humane leadership now more than ever.

As leaders, we must ask ourselves: (1) What are our responsibilities to our employees and the greater community? (2) How will management excellence during uncertain times better shape our futures?

Tom tackles these questions in a number of recent conversations conducted well over six-feet away (!) with various thought leaders.

We hope these words offer you some guidance and wisdom in how you lead your careers and lives. In the meantime, stay safe.


Nov 16

Interview with Trevor Gay

Nov 13

"These are the Seven Commandments. Be kind, be caring, be patient, be forgiving, be present, be positive, and walk in the other person’s shoes." - Tom Peters in conversation with Mitch Russo on Your First Thousand Clients.

Sept 30

Catch Tom in conversation with Izolda Trakhtenberg on The Innovative Mind podcast

Aug 24

On the 250th episode of Peter Winick's Leveraging Thought Leadership, Tom talks about being a public figure and how thought leadership can be misinterpreted. Tune in here

Aug 24

Managing in times of madness doesn't have to be....madness! Catch Tom in his latest interview with Mark Graban on the Lean Podcast

July 28

On 1000 African Voices, Tom talks about Trump and the importance of leadership during turbulent times.

July 27

On Six Pixels of Separation, Tom talks to Mitch Joel about business thinking. Listen in, get inspired and GO! 

July 17

Check out Tom's feature on the Masters Speak series hosted by Future Generali India Life Insurance.

July 13

Tom speaks with Todd Schnick on the Schnick Foundation podcast.

July 3

Tom speaks with Adrian Swincoe on Punk CX about the need for Extreme Humanization. Listen to the podcast episode here!  

July 1

Check out this recorded livestream with Tom and Sam Maule of the 11:FS show.

June 29

In a LinkedIn Live conversation with Phil Gerbyshak, Tom stresses that certain priorities remain constant despite the global volatility brought on by COVID-19.

June 24

On the Scaling Up Business podcast with Bill Gallagher, Tom talks about putting people first. Why? Because what could possibly be more important!

June 21

Listen in to hear what Tom says company leaders must understand, his unexpected stance on maximizing shareholder value, and more on Roger Dooley's Brainfluence podcast.

June 21

On Global I.Q with Jim Falk, Tom talks about how leaders must navigate the new normal to effectively engage within the limits of social distancing and virtual conference rooms.

June 7

On the weekly show DisrupTV, Tom engages in an energizing conversation with Salesforce's Vala Afshar and Chairman of Constellation Research, Inc Ray Wang. This episode has reached over 72k views in just over a week! Check it out!

Podcast here.
Video recording here.

June 5

On Diane Hamilton's Take the Lead, Tom talks about his inspirations, motivations and strategies for managing better.


"I’ve been reading so much stuff for the past few years. The whole series of books from Sherry Turkle, a woman from Berkeley on how the new technology is making awful messes of our brain.  All of which incidentally, given the timing of our conversation and forgetting the nightmare part is incredibly important relative to this issue.

Are we all going to work for home and what does that mean in terms of social psychological interaction, decision-making, etc.?

I’ve been asked over and over again, the thing that Bob Waterman and I found in doing the In Search of Excellence research way back in 1977, was managing by wandering around in a two-year-old Packard. I’ve always said that’s the only idea I need. It’s not about managing by wandering around. It’s about leaders who are in touch." - Tom Peters

May 29

On Unleashed with Jeff Tetz, Tom talks about his recent compilation of management advice, 27 Number Ones.

May 25

Catch Tom and Marcus Kirsch on the third episode of The Wicked Podcast.

May 25

Tom and Nick Westergaard talk leadership in troubling times on the On Brand podcast.

“The way that leaders behave relative to the people that work with them throughout this crisis—let’s call it the last two months and the next 2–3 months—what they do and the way in which they do it will be the landmark of their adult career.” - Tom Peters

May 19

Tom speaks with Thomas Capone on the New York Distance Learning Association's podcast, Coffee in the Clouds

"What you have done in the last 60 days and what you will do in the next 90 or 120 days, to a significant degree, will be your life legacy... If you take great care of people, they'll take care of the bottom line. " -Tom Peters

May 12

Listen to Tom on Jim Marous' Banking Transformed podcast.

May 7

On the Tell Me What To Say podcast with Drew Kugler, Tom talks about communication during a crisis.

April 30

In his second appearance on the Stayin' Alive in Tech podcast with founder of Timeshare CMO Melinda Byerley, Tom discusses how managers should navigate tough decisions. Underscoring his decades-long philosophy of putting people first, Tom warns of the consequences leaders will face down the line if they don't prioritize their employees now.

"If you're a leader and if you have people working for you, never do any single thing you can't imagine bragging to your grandkids thirty years from now. It's all about people. It's all about taking care of people... You have a responsibility as a business owner." -Tom Peters

April 24

In this GYDA Member Hub Talks – Robert Craven interviews Tom on how the COVID-19 Crisis will define your career as a digital agency leader.

April 20

On Jeanne Bliss' Human Duct Tape Show, Tom talks about the importance of trusting your employees as many make the transition to work from home.

"The skill you need in a crisis is to have developed an incredible group of human beings who have autonomy and who care." -Tom Peters

April 1 

For non-corona related news, Tom spoke with Bradford Cooper on the Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Podcast discussing how to succeed and make an impact in the wellness industry.

“You have the opportunity to dramatically reshape the lives over a 10 year period of 1000 people.” - Tom Peters

March 29

On the Manage Smarter Podcast, Tom speaks with SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith on how to manage effectively and humanely during a crisis.  

"If you are a CEO sitting with stock options up the kazoo — and you’ve got a bank account of 170 million dollars — and if you lay front line people off (during this pandemic), you are a first-class lifelong SOB in my book." - Tom Peters


A collection of stimulating (I hope) design quotes ...

We don’t have a good language to talk about this kind of thing. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. … DESIGN IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOUL OF A MAN-MADE CREATION.” Steve Jobs

Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing.” Steve Jobs

Huge degree of care.” Ian Parker, New Yorker, on Apple design

In some way, by caring, we are actually serving humanity. People might think it’s a stupid belief, but it’s a goal—it’s a contribution that we hope we can make, in some small way, to culture.” Jony Ives, design chief, Apple


But that day, in that experience, the thing that really gave me comfort was a tiny mirror [on the machine enabling patient eye contact with the tech and nurse] about as big as a Band-Aid.” Janet Dugan, healthcare architect undergoing an MRI exam, in Tim Leberecht's, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing,and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Every business school in the world would flunk you if you came out with a business plan that said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to design and fabricate our own screws at an exponentially higher cost than it would cost to buy them.’ BUT THESE AREN’T JUST SCREWS. LIKE THE THERMOMETER ITSELF, THEY’RE BETTER SCREWS, EPIC SCREWS, SCREWS WITH, DARE I SAY IT, DEEPER MEANING.” Tony Fadell, founder, Nest

He said for him the craft of building a boat was like a religion. It wasn’t enough to master the technical details of it. You had to give yourself up to it spiritually; you had to surrender yourself absolutely to it. When you were done and walked away, you had to feel that you had left a piece of yourself behind in it forever, a bit of your heart.” On the world’s premier racing shell builder, George Yeoman Pocock, in Daniel Brown's, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it." Thomas Merton

It is fair to say that almost no new vehicle in recent memory has provoked more smiles.” Review of the MINI Cooper S, reported in Donald Norman's, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

“For every engineer and marketer on the “Experience Design & Development Team,” you need an artist, psychologist, musician, theaterdirector—and perhaps a shaman.” Tom Peters

“I believe that emotion eats reason for breakfast. I am not a daydreamer, idealist, or social activist. I am a business romantic.” Tim Lebrecht, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself


Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
, by Donald Norman
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Heart, Minds, and Actions, by Guy Kawasaki
Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, by Kevin Roberts
The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself, by Tim Leberecht

Goals 2020+

"Over"-invest in people (e.g., top-quartile pay, 5-star health benefits, safety first).
"Over-the-top" worker training.
Substantial employee ownership.
Extreme development of first-line managers as most critical leaders.
More women in senior leadership roles (e.g., women minimum 50% in top management and Board membership).
Company fully integrated into community.
Contribute to community via radical Clean & Green operations.
Civil workplace (e.g., extreme worker respect) devoted to employee growth.
Ethical behavior as a cornerstone of business strategy.
Extreme and continuous product/service differentiation primarily through Humanized (Extreme Humanization) and Sustainable Design; every product/service is "remarkable."
Every employee a "licensed innovator."
Adhere to Metro Bank Vernon Hill's rule: "Cost-cutting is a death spiral"—focus on the top/value-added line.
Pursue the George Whalin dictate: "Be the best. It's the only market that's not crowded."
Peerless quality a trademark.
No such thing as too much time invested in relationship building; slow & steady & encompassing wins the relationship race.
Instant and overpowering response to problems.
Greater attention to (stupendous-in-size) women's market—e.g., majority of women in product/service R&D/development activities.
Greater attention to (enormous/pitifully under-served) "oldies" market.
Overall employment growth principally through small-company Excellence. (Centerpiece is, for example, numerous 4-person over-the-moon companies becoming 8-person companies in the next 36 months.)
IA (Intelligence Augmented) >> AI (Artificial Intelligence).
EXCELLENCE. ALWAYS. (Guiding axiom: Excellence is the next 5 minutes. Or nothing at all.)


EEE/Extreme Employee Engagement
Extreme Community Engagement
Extreme Product/Service Humanization

[PDF version]

Int’l Maintenance Conference

Tom's in Florida on Marco Island, speaking at the 34th International Maintenance Conference. The conference brings together "the brightest leaders in reliability and asset management from the world’s best run companies."

International Maintenance Conference, 11 Dec 2019

Dan Pink’s Favorite Books

Our Cool Friend Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind, and most recently When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, posted a list titled "20 Books That Have Mattered to Me." Tom is thrilled to be on this short list, where he's in the company of Frederick Douglass, Charles Darwin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Lewis, and more. Unable to choose only one of Tom's books, Dan put all of them, along with Peter Drucker's, as one entry on the list. So, visit Dan's post, pick a few books, and start reading. And, while you're at it, read a few of Dan's books, too. We suggest you try them all.

Brand You Interview

Art Kleiner, editor-in-chief of strategy+business magazine, helped Tom clarify the meaning of Brand You with an excellent interview, online here. Our thanks to Art!

World Business Forum Bogotá

Still in Bogotá, today Tom gave the keynote at the World Business Forum presented by WOBI - World of Business Ideas.

World Business Forum Bogotá