Are you ready to Get Going?

I well remember a big “debate” that flared up in Tom Peters Company some years ago when, at the end of a successful client project, a senior colleague here bragged that we had “changed Company X!” Tom’s response to this claim, well the printable version anyway, was:“People and organizations, if they do change, change themselves. At best, we consultants can hold their individual/collective hands, and whisper words of wisdom and encouragement, which will never be heard until the exact accidental moment when they are ready to hear them for their own sweet reasons!

This was the thinking behind our annual Summer Research Project this year. We had been detecting a distinct shift in the tone of conversations with some of our clients during the spring and wanted to find out more. Despite their weariness (and wariness!) from the recession, people were ready to look ahead. It appeared to be, as Tom said, an accidental moment when some people at least were ready to move on.

We decided to invite a cross section of people from our network to have a free go at the Excellence Audit™, our online tool designed to help leaders compile their own description of what Excellence looks like and to consider how they currently shape up against it. We were pleased to find that a highly disparate group of participants, 143 people from 29 countries and 6 continents, took up our offer! Some feedback we heard:

This has forced me to think about what was important for our clients and staff as distinct from what was good for us (managers) alone.”

By accepting our outdated IT systems as a barrier (which I had), I am effectively limiting the ability of this business to provide the best customer experience that we can. This has inspired me to demand our own IT system from the Group and to stop our lack of high level decision making impacting customer experience in my business. Whilst spending most of last year at warp factor nine, the Excellence Audit was a moment of divine intervention!

(I think this is at least one person who was ready to hear!)


So what is the potential take away from this for readers who did not participate in the Summer Research Project? If you are at the point where you want to leave the malaise of the recession behind you, my suggestion is to devote some time now to working out where you most need to make progress. My guess is that you already have a good inkling of where you should be focusing your improvement efforts. And if you don’t, I’m sure your employees, partners and clients will enlighten you if you find the right way to ask them! You can also take a look at the findings of our Research Project – you might get ideas from where others are seeing the need to move on.If you take a look at the Tom Peters Website, you’ll find many different inputs and titbits from Tom that can help you construct your own excellence action agenda. Two in particular I would recommend are his new master slide set. Another is his new Synopsis series, which incorporates highlights from his recent book, The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence .

To get a personal copy of the Summer Research Project Report, contact We’ll be happy to share all our findings.

Good luck, and do let us know how you get on!