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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 executive and 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. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Gillette is another leader in demonstrating that Awesome Design can be applied to relatively inexpensive/"common" items. Consider the Sensor. It redefined women's shaving. And when we thought we'd seen the last word for men, the Mach III turned out to be very special, very different-and, not so incidentally, cost Gillette about three quarters of a billion dollars to develop. (I didn't say design was a… Free Good.) The OralB CrossAction toothbrush-also from Gillette-is another Prime Time Design Example. It changed the brushing of teeth! And it cost $70 million to develop. Intriguing factoid: Gillette took out 23 patents on this "mere" toothbrush-including 6 patents for the packaging alone. Design. About services as much as lumps. About the HR and IS departments as much as about new product development. And about $0.79 items as much as $79,000 items. Those are the terms-of-reference with which I approach this Very Big Idea.
And Now for Something TOTALLY Controversial… Message: Men cannot design for women's needs! Oh, boy, did that ever stir the pot (and bring it to an instant boil) at a design conference I recently attended. Fact is, I'm not at all sure of myself on this one. But, I'm also not at all sure I'm wrong, either. A woman friend, an architect, told me about a friend of hers (female) who was shopping for a relatively expensive house. One day she looked at half a dozen prospects. Only one of the half dozen had a laundry room on the second floor-where the kids' bedrooms were.
The house was the only one of the bunch that was designed by a woman. The fact is… no Guy would ever think-not in a million years-to put a laundry room on the second floor, near the kids' bedrooms. Is a "second-floor laundry room" a Big Deal worthy of an Oceanic Generalization? Of course not. But it is… INDICATIVE. Indicative of 100 similar stories… from the mundane to the profound… from residential housing to financial services, that have the exact same bottom line. Namely… when it comes to design, Guys Are Impaired… Relative to Women. They lack the ability (mostly) to deal with women's issues. Women and men are different. Very different. So damn different that I believe, most of the time, that we have virtually nothing in common. Design is Important. Damned Important.
|Foreword: I'm Mad as Hell||6|
|Introduction: New War New Business||12|
|Part I.||New Business New Context||18|
|Chapter 1.||Re-imagining the World: All Bets Are Off||20|
|Chapter 2.||Control Alt Delete: The Destruction Imperative||30|
|Part II.||New Business New Technology||46|
|Chapter 3.||In the Crosshairs: White-Collar Cataclysm||48|
|Chapter 4.||InfoTech Changes Everything: "On the Bus" or ... "Off the Bus"?||58|
|Part III.||New Business New Value||70|
|Chapter 5.||From "Cost Center" to Stardom: The PSF/Professional Service Firm Transformation||72|
|Chapter 6.||PSFs Mean Business: The Solutions Imperative||84|
|Chapter 7.||Welcome to XF/Cross-Functional World: The Solutions50||96|
|Part IV.||New Business New Brand||110|
|Chapter 8.||Beyond Solutions: Providing Memorable "Experiences"||112|
|Chapter 9.||ExperiencesPlus: Embracing the "Dream Business"||124|
|Chapter 10.||Design: The "Soul" of New Enterprise||132|
|Chapter 11.||Design's Long Coattails: Beautiful Systems||146|
|Chapter 12.||The Ultimate Value Proposition: The Heart of Branding||154|
|Part V.||New Business New Markets||164|
|Chapter 13.||Trends Worth Trillion$$$ I: Women Roar||166|
|Chapter 14.||Trends Worth Trillion$$$ II: Boomer Bonanza||184|
|Part VI.||New Business New Work||192|
|Chapter 15.||Making Work Matter: The WOW Project!||194|
|Chapter 16.||No Limits: WOW Projects for the "Powerless"||202|
|Chapter 17.||Boss Work: Heroes, Demos, Stories||210|
|Chapter 18.||Bringing WOW Work to Fruition: The Sales25||222|
|Part VII.||New Business New People||232|
|Chapter 19.||Re-imagining the Individual: Life in a Brand You World||234|
|Chapter 20.||Boss Job One: The Talent25||248|
|Chapter 21.||Meet the New Boss: Women Rule||268|
|Chapter 22.||Getting It Right at the Start: Education for a Creative & Self-Reliant Age||276|
|Part VIII.||New Business New Mandate||292|
|Chapter 23.||Think Weird: The High Value-Added Bedrock||294|
|Chapter 24.||In Search of Excellence: A Three-Generation Report Card||304|
|Chapter 25.||Pursuing Excellence in a Disruptive Age: The Leadership50||318|