published on Monday, July 18, 2005 in The Miami Herald
Author heeds call to re-imagine his book.
guru Tom Peters re-imagines the presentation of his wisdom in a
new series of books.
BY RICHARD PACHTER
Tom Peters Essentials (four volumes: Design,
Tom Peters. Dorling Kindersley Limited. 160 pages (each).
Did Tom Peters, the veteran business visionary, guru, exalted author
extraordinaire and consultant to the stars actually heed my advice?
Probably not. No way. Impossible. Not a chance.
But, maybe . . .
When Peters' last
full-length opus was released back in November 2003, I was dazzled,
literally and figuratively. It was packed tightly with terrific
insights and information, but actually reading it was another matter
entirely. In my review
, I wrote: ``The book employs a dizzying array of styles and layouts
meant, perhaps, to evoke the disjointed, disparate experience of
Web surfing. Peters is clearly [well, maybe not clearly] attempting
to present his writing in a new and exciting style, and while it
is fun to look at, a more linear, less chaotic approach might have
served the material better.''
A few weeks ago -- and a year-and-a-half after the book's release
-- I discovered that Peters, perhaps of his own volition or maybe
at the urging of his agent or publisher, had reduced and redacted
elements of Re-Imagine
into more digestible and comprehensible units.
The four ''re-imagined'' volumes are slick, slender and won't make
you seasick. They are also very nicely presented, but not just as
decorative works. Like many (if not all) great products, the design
complements and enhances their functionality.
Peters didn't merely reconfigure and repackage existing material.
It's obvious that he gave each subject a ''checkup from the neck-up,''
as an old boss of mine used to say. But he freely re-purposed ample
material from Re-Imagine,
which is quite wise. There was just too much worthwhile stuff therein
to abandon to the previous book's challenging format.
The selection of topics -- Design,
-- was no accident. Peters' emphasis on these aspects of business
reflects his belief that they are the defining forces for sustainable
growth and success.
Trends includes a heavy helping of new material by Martha Barletta
and focuses on women as an underserved market segment. It's very
good -- but rather obvious, at least to an enlightened pro-feminist
such as myself. But for the determinedly clueless, Peters and Barletta
provide ample reasons for marketing to this lucrative segment. They
also go after the ''boomer-geezers,'' citing David
Wolfe's Ageless Marketing, an excellent study of another underserved,
active and affluent demographic.
Overall, Peters' new-ish books are worthwhile and much more useful
than the earlier, larger work. Good idea, Tom, wherever it came
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