Category: Ambition

I told you so….

Some people accuse Tom Peters of overstatement, but with hindsight, that can certainly not be said about his 1999 prediction of the looming white collar revolution. 

He saw it coming, although maybe not the way it is playing out today. The angry reaction across the globe to the effects of globalisation, unfairness and the elimination of base level jobs was predictable, but is depressing nontheless. 

So what should our reaction be? Certainly not, as some are advocating, to turn the clock back and console ourselves with “the false nostalgia for sh…y jobs” (TP c2000). 

We have to set the true brilliance of the human imagination to working out how we can create gainful employment for everyone. A new logic is necessary. 

It would be even more depressing if we had tried out everything that Tom and other visionaries have proclaimed., but the truth is, we havent. Or not enough…..That’s our mission!

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Excellence Academy 2: Coming Soon!

In Tom Peters we have a master of modern management theory who shares his insights freely in a variety of formats (Books, ebooks, speeches, papers, twitter, blog, website etc). His ideas have high currency, particularly amongst entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and new startups. The list of his literary achievements is long but equally interesting is the impact he has had on how business is done. Over the years we have come across many people who attest to having changed the way they work by Tom’s persuasive and emotional arguments. Many of them speak of life changing transformations.

In TPC, we work with clients who want to adopt these ideas and to inspire others to do the same. Our focus is almost totally on application;-) We find that the problem clients are dealing with is rarely that people lack knowledge – it’s  converting knowledge into practice that is usually the difficult part.

The things people tell us they appreciate from our interventions include;

  • Getting feedback about current performance
  • The chance to debate the relevance of the ideas to them
  • Reshaping ideas to deal with their own problems
  • Tools that help them come up with new solutions for their situation
  • Having a go at a new skill or behaviour
  • Getting moral support from fellow students
  • Having fun

We’ve been doing this in face-to-face settings for over 25 years, and the Excellence Academy moves this field of activity into virtual space. This gives us the chance to reach a much wider audience and to stay connected as virtual buddies to provoke and support over a longer period of time.

There is a groundswell of thinking about teaching and learning going on at the moment. Russell Ackoff and Daniel Greenburg (Turning Learning the Right Side Up, Roger Schank (Teaching Minds, 2011), 2008) and Zoe Elder (Full On Learning, 2012), all in their own ways advocate approaches to learning that centre on practice not teaching. The age of the internet means that there is no reason for a person to be ignorant about any subject that interests them. Education should focus on helping learners to use this information thoughtfully to achieve goals that matter to them.

To make sure we aren’t just another source of content, our focus in the Excellence Academy will be:

  1. Challenging peoples’ preconceived beliefs and norms
  2. Defining fresh challenges for themselves
  3. Shaping work projects to drive activity from which they can learn
  4. Provoking, reminding and inspiring them to act and to continue acting
  5. Reflecting on what they have learned
  6. Feeling part of a community of learners
  7. Helping people feel intrinsic reward for their efforts

The Academy will have its own web platform, and the program of activities will spread over 6 months. Its focus will be on supporting people to learn about improving performance in chosen aspects of their work life with the inspiration of Tom Peters to guide us. For more information contact

2011 Update

As we approach the end of another year, it is a good chance to look back and reflect. Here are some of the highlights from the last year in TPC.

De-mystifying Excellence

Our Excellence Model, the Future Shape of the Winner (FSW), continues to be well received by clients and consultants alike. People really appreciate the simplicity of the model and the fact that it gives them a bird’s eye view of their progress on their Excellence agenda. It forces them to consider every angle – and to step up to challenges that they wouldn’t naturally take on. Here’s how one client summed up his reaction to the FSW model:

…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, so your project has inspired me to demand our own IT system and stop our lack of high level decision making (to sell or not to sell the business) impact the customer experience for this business.

Your (FSW) project was a moment of divine intervention, which I sincerely thank you for.” Managing Director, UK based plc

You’ll get an idea of the style and approach if you take a look at our free Excellence Audit taster – the LITE version. Prices of a full audit begin at UK£250/US$400 for an individual audit.

21st Century Learning

Amongst this year’s headlines is the news is that I have finally graduated with a Masters Degree in Open and Distance Education from the Open University. It’s taken me several years, but on the back of this study, we’ve now had three serious sorties into the world of Distance Learning. Our 5-week FSW/Excellence Audit training programme has involved 21 consultants from literally all over the globe. “DL” is the learning medium that everyone is talking about, so expect to see more Distance Learning offerings from us in the future.

What’s your experience of Distance Learning? Have you got any requests for programmes in this format from TPC?

Spreading The Word!

After over 20 years of designing and delivering in-company development and training events in the US and Europe, TPC has decided the time is now right to move into new territories by licensing other “local” consultants to use our unique IP and workshop materials. The audience for Tom Peters’ ideas is truly global these days and we are getting more and more interest from people who want to access TPC services from far and wide.

We began during 2010-2011 by licensing consultants in the use of our Excellence Audit. In 2012 we are extending the licensing arrangements to include three of our best-loved training products, Brand You, WOW! Projects and Creating Value for Customers. Our partners are a well-established training company in South Africa, Business Results Group, who have had a successful track record of delivering licensed training products for over 15 years. Once we’ve got our head around how the deal will work for both parties, we’ll be looking for more partners based in markets that are new for us. All advice and contacts gratefully accepted!


The clients who have continued to work with TPC over the past three difficult years increasingly have one characteristic in common. Sure, they have continued to invest in the aspects that they think make their business different and special, but increasingly the source of this distinctive difference lies the discretionary extra contributions that their people routinely bring to the business. When it comes to competing in ever more difficult markets, copying products and avoiding copyright legislation seems to be getting easier and easier. Copying the contributions special people make to special businesses is quite the reverse!

What are you doing to keep yourself ahead of the pack?