The circle of innovation: you can't shrink your way to greatness

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Knopf, Nov 4, 1997 - Business & Economics - 518 pages
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Tom Peters--brilliant, original, and perhaps the most inspiring and listened-to business thinker of our time--has a lot on his mind these days. And he wants to share it in The Circle of Innovation.

The world of business is in a permanent state of flux, he argues, a state of chaos in which constant innovation is the only survival strategy--for the individual and for the organization. And he presents here a lifesaving handbook--both provocative and practical--designed to turn any organization into a perpetual innovation machine.

In 400 seminars in 47 states and 22 countries in the last five years, Peters has reexamined, refined, and reinvented his views on innovation. Now he brings those seminars--and his passion--to the reader in a landmark book. It is meant, he writes, to both "terrify" and "enlighten." These are "times of matchless peril for those who fail to grasp the nettle...and times of matchless opportunity for those who do."

To keep us alert, limber, and ready for action, he provokes and cajoles in chapter after chapter. Among his institutions and revelations:

We Are All Michelangelos. He shows how to transform every "jobholder" into a full-fledged businessperson.
All Value Comes from the Professional Services. How to convert sluggish staff units into Vital Centers of Intellectual Capital Accumulation.
The System is the Solution. How to build great systems--which go far beyond nuts and bolts.
Create Waves of Lust. Quality is not the automatic advantage it recently was. There is a pressing need to reverse the rising tide of product and service "commoditization."
Tommy Hilfiger Knows. In a crowded marketplace, branding is far more important than ever before.
It's a Woman's World. How to capitalize on the fact that women purchase/are purchasing agents for well over half of U.S. commercial and consumer goods.
Little Things Are the Only Things. As the Blight of Sameness encroaches on market after market, design is often the best tool in services or manufacturing for sustainable differentiation.
We're Here to Live Life Out Loud. Why transformational leaders of the future must have laser-like focus, tell the truth, and live on the lunatic fringe.


The hallmarks of Tom Peters legend are an insatiable curiosity, an agile intellect, a pragmatic perspective, and an uncanny ability to gauge the global zeitgeist. These qualities are all brought to bear as Peters sets out to engage, enrage, and ultimately empower his readers, amid forces that are reshaping not only business but every aspect of human experience.

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The circle of innovation: you can't shrink your way to greatness

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Peters (The Pursuit of Wow! LJ 2/15/95) advances here a barrage of ideas on what it takes to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace. His book, derived from 60 or so iterations of his seminars, has a ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Tom Peters is the co-author of In Search of Excellence (with Robert H. Waterman, Jr.), and A Passion for Excellence (with Nancy Austin), and the author of Thriving on Chaos, Liberation Management, The Tom Peters Seminar, and The Pursuit of Wow!. He is the founder of the Tom Peters Group in Palo Alto, California, and lives mostly on American Airlines, or with his family on a farm in Vermont or an island off the Massachusetts coast. Thanks to the information technology revolution he can be reached at tompeters@businessedge.net