Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tom Peters. Strange. Change.

Tom Peters proclaims: you need to contact the strange.

Though I have often been called an 'organizational change consultant,' I don't much believe in change.

I don't much believe that launching a 'strategic initiative' or creating a 'brilliant training program' will suddenly cause people to lose their fear of failure, to become entrepreneurial, or whatever.

What I do believe is that if I can force myself into contact with 'strange stuff' ... then that strange stuff will drag me, willingly or not, toward something new and thrilling, something weird and wonderful.

I will change because of one and only one thing: I've been forced to!

-- Tom Peters, Talent (DK, 2005, p. 134)

Do you listen to outsider or experimental music, like Artbreaker, Squarepusher, Caroliner, Mauricio Kagel, Iannis Xenakis, Stockhausen, Pierre Schaeffer, Francois Bayle, Nurse With Wound, Gong, The Residents, John Cage, or Merzbow?

What do you know of art movements, Dada, surrealism, abstract expressionism, cubism, futurism, structuralism, pop art, net art, deconstruction?

Do you read difficult novels, literary criticism, managerial theory, cultural anthropology, ethnomethodology, business history, marketing strategy, or net administration manuals?

Do you keep up with emerging technology?

Do you like to explore new channels of distribution and new business processes?

Do you dine at a wide variety of ethnic restaurants (Chinese, India, Italian, Irish, German, Greek, African, French, Puerto Rican, Middle Eastern)? or cook their national cuisine?

What is the strangest fact about your industry, a secret or superiority that few people know about? Who is the oddest character in your business? What are the emerging technologies that will most impact your market?

Who is the best blogger in your industry? Best writer? Best historian? Best marketing mind? Best CEO role model? Best video webcaster?

What if CEOs started reading IT blogs and IT techs starting reading CEO blogs?

You must step outside of the box to think outside of the box. By remaining in the box of tradition, comfort, and pre-digested notions, one stagnates to death. Adventure and victory go together to the heights of consumer consciousness.

Exposure to extreme thinking, radical art, and eccentric personalities can prompt new thought forms to spring forth from your unconscious and lead you down new, fruitful, and profitable paths, paths that were unexpected and unimaginable.

You must read and listen to and view what you normally would not. What you normally would not. Move apart from what and who you are, and experience the new, the awkward, the unknown: the STRANGE.

Then you'll automatically begin to CHANGE.


CK said...

I was raised around a lot of change (moving to places far north and far south and everywhere in-between) so I found change to be natural, not frigthtening. It's all I knew. What's strange to me is that someone actually lived in the same home for more than 2 years. I still have yet to do that. Or that people hang with only one 'type' of group. Where's the payoff in that?

But people are, by and largely, frightened of change so an it fear-based like fear of irrelevance...desire-based like taking on a new field...or opportunity-based like taking on a new job for more money...can work wonders. In my work I'm constantly advocating change so I work the incentive angle (e.g. ROI, competition, new markets) and that helps with a lot of intertia.

And you're right, people benefit by getting out of their comfort zone. Your blog/views could be called 'strange' and yet, I benefit so much from what I see as really sensible advice. As marketer, I could stick to the mainstream marketing blogs, which help me as well, but it's in mixing it up that I'm afforded the most growth (which is my personal incentive).

Thanks for the good stuff on a Sunday.

psst: Not sure if this is intentional, but to post comments I have to go through 2 rounds of spam tests. It may be becuz you want to really verify I'm not SPAM, but in case you don't know of it, and it's a glitch, it's a pain man.

steven edward streight said...

I think Tom Peters is not very strange. Yet he is far more radical than I am.

And he is arguably the foremost business author for management.

In the book Talent, he really lets it rip. He even demands that companies fire all the normals and hire only weirdos.

All the routine sandbagger mediocre safe players -- GONE.

All the odd, out there, extreme eccentrics -- IN.

I don't know how to be more bizarre than the leading business guru. I just don't have it in me to be more trippy than Tom Peters.

If I listed every radical remark he has made, they'd think he was some insane homeless bum mumbling in an alley somewhere.

I had one book by Tom, that said companies must become crazy to survive and succeed in the current environment.

Be crazy, not just innovative or "outside the box". Out of your mind.

I don't know who the "mainstream" marketers are, but the leading ones like Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Christopher Locke, Jason Calacanis, Peter Drucker, W. Edwards Deming, are advocating things way beyond the Vaspers Show.


steven edward streight said...

Spam Blocker.

You type in a series of letters, then the comment is saved for moderation, with an email alert appearing in my Gmail inbox.

I see the alert, click on link in it to visit moderation page, I approve any comment except UCE commericial link spam. ("Great blog, read almost entire post. Will return later. Check out my Vlagra Robocet site").

You will type and submit only once. If you do it twice, it means you typed the characters incorrectly.

If I turn off the captcha and comment mod, I'll be swamped with botspam, programs poised to inject naughty or con artist link embedded "comments" into my blogs.

If I turned off comment mod for one minute, I'll get about 12 to 30 spams. I've been through the spam wars and achieved victory only by comment moderation.

If a newbie comes around and gets offended, calling it "censorship", I don't care.

I know what I am, I am not a censor, I am a spam victor. The price I pay for keeping a clean blog? Upsetting a percentage of users.

Why fight spam so hard?

Because the links in spam can lead to con artist, criminal, pornographic, or otherwise undesirable, malicious sites.

Just clicking innocently on the embedded link is a victory for the spammer. Each innocent click counts as traffic.

And simply by visiting a site, spyware, or worse, can be attached to your computer and enter your network.