Tom Peters III
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
Life and education
Peters was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He went to Severn School a private, preparatory high school, graduating in 1960. Peters then attended Cornell University, receiving a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1964, and a master's degree in 1966.
He returned to academia in 1970 to study business at Stanford Business School[self-published source] receiving an MBA followed by a PhD in Organizational Behavior in 1977. The title of his dissertation was "Patterns of Winning and Losing: Effects on Approach and Avoidance by Friends and Enemies." Karl Weick credited Peters' dissertation with giving him the idea for his 1984 article: "Small wins: Redefining the scale of social problems."
While at Stanford, Peters was influenced by Jim G. March, Herbert Simon (both at Stanford), and Karl Weick (at the University of Michigan). Later, he noted that he was influenced by Douglas McGregor and Einar Thorsrud.
In 2004, he also received an honorary doctorate from the State University of Management in Moscow.
From 1966 to 1970, he served in the United States Navy, making two deployments to Vietnam as a Navy Seabee, then later working in the Pentagon. From 1973 to 1974, he worked in the White House as a senior drug-abuse advisor, during the Nixon administration. Peters has acknowledged the influence of military strategist Colonel John Boyd on his later writing.
From 1974 to 1981, Peters worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, becoming a partner and Organization Effectiveness practice leader in 1979. In 1981, he left McKinsey to become an independent consultant.
In 1990, Peters was referred to in a British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) publication as one of the world's Quality Gurus.
By 2000, Peters was noted for his ever-increasingly aggressive and sometimes "crackpot" demeanor while at the same time his target audiences had changed towards the considerably lower ranks of SMI management.
In Search of Excellence
The publication of the popular business book In Search of Excellence in 1982 marked a turning point in Peters' career.
Peters states that directly after graduating with a PhD from Stanford in 1977, and returning to McKinsey, the new managing director, Ron Daniel, handed him a "fascinating assignment."[self-published source] Motivated by the new ideas coming from Bruce Henderson's Boston Consulting Group, Daniel noted that businesses often failed to effectively implement new strategies, so Peters "was asked to look at 'organization effectiveness' and 'implementation issues' in an inconsequential offshoot project nested in McKinsey's rather offbeat San Francisco office."[self-published source]
In Search of Excellence]] became a bestseller, gaining exposure in the United States at a national level when a series of television specials based on the book and hosted by Peters appeared on PBS. The primary ideas espoused solving business problems with as little business-process overhead as possible, and empowering decision-makers at multiple levels of a company.
The December 2001 issue of Fast Company quoted Peters admitting that he and Waterman had falsified the underlying data for In Search of Excellence. He is quoted as saying, " This is pretty small beer, but for what it's worth, okay, I confess: We faked the data. A lot of people suggested it at the time." He later insisted that this was untrue and that he was the victim of an "aggressive headline."
In 1987 Peters published Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution.
- 1982 – In Search of Excellence (co-written with Robert H. Waterman, Jr.)
- 1985 – A Passion for Excellence (co-written with Nancy Austin)
- 1987 – Thriving on Chaos
- 1992 – Liberation Management
- 1994 – The Tom Peters Seminar: Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations
- 1994 – The Pursuit of WOW!
- 1997 – The Circle of Innovation: You Can't Shrink Your Way to Greatness
- 1999 - The Reinventing Work Series 50List Books
- 1999 – The Brand You 50: Or: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an "Employee" into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! (Reinventing Work Series) ISBN 978-0375407727
- 1999 - The Project50: Fifty Ways to Transform Every "Task" into a Project That Matters! (Reinventing Work Series) ISBN 978-0375407734
- 1999 - The Professional Service Firm50: Fifty Ways to Transform Your "Department" into a Professional Service Firm Whose Trademarks are Passion and Innovation! (Reinventing Work Series) ISBN 978-0375407710
- 2003 – Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age
- 2005 – Talent
- 2005 – Leadership
- 2005 – Design
- 2005 – Trends (co-written with Martha Barletta)
- 2010 – The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence
- 2018 - The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last
- "Leroy Sparks '71 to be Recognized as Rolland M. Teel Distinguished Alumnus". Severn School. March 4, 2016. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
- "Kindness is free and turns a profit, says business guru Tom Peters '64 - CornellCast". CornellCast.edu. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- "A Brief History of the 7-S ("McKinsey 7-S") Model - Tom Peters". Tompeters.com. March 8, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Peters, Thomas J. (January 1, 1977). Patterns of Winning and Losing: Effects on Approach and Avoidance by Friends and Enemies. Stanford University.
- Bedeian, Arthur G. (January 1, 1993). Management Laureates: A Collection of Autobiographical Essays. Jai Press. ISBN 9781559384711.
- Weick, K. E. (1984). Small wins: redefining the scale of social problems. American Psychologist, 39 (1), 40.
- "Tom Peters's True Confessions". Fastcompany.com. November 30, 2001. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Wayne, Leslie. (8 September 1995). Leaping to the Lectern. Business Day. New York Times.
- Gimein, Mark (November 13, 2000). "Now That We Live In A Tom Peters World... Has Tom Peters Gone Crazy? Once a counsel to business titans, guru Tom Peters now lobs exclamation points at middle managers. How did he get here?". money.cnn.com. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
If you know one thing about Tom Peters, you know about his first book, and if you know two things, the second is that he hasn't written a book as good as that since, and if you know three things, the third is that sometime in the 18 years since that first precious book, he's gone bonkers.
- "Tom Peters to Receive Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award". Thinkers50. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- "Tom Peters's True Confessions". Fast Company. November 30, 2001. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Byrne, John A. (December 3, 2001). "The Real Confessions of Tom Peter". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Peters, Tom (1987). Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780394560618. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- Peters, Tom (October 1, 2009). "The Little Big Things Introduction". tompeters.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
- Peters, Tom (April 4, 2018). "The Excellence Dividend Is Now Available". tompeters.com. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
- Speechtek biography
- Stewart Crainer: Corporate Man to Corporate Skunk: The Tom Peters Phenomenon, Oxford, 1997
- Winfried W. Weber: Innovation durch Injunktion, Goettingen, 2005
- Tom Peters: The Bestselling Prophet of the Management Revolution (part of a 4-book series of business biographies on Peters, Bill Gates, Peter Drucker, and Warren Buffett)
- The Brand Called You FastCompany magazine, 1997.
- Tom Peters Interview - The Excellence Dividend Online Personals Watch, 2018.
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- tompeters – official site