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April 28, 2004

!! RANT Reading Re-Imagine - PART TWO

Thanks Michelle, Marc, and Todd for your thoughts on how to tackle Re-imagine. From your perspective, I was able to gain a new perspective on Re-imagine. That new perspective being ...

Re-imagine is not a book you read. It is a book you use.

As Todd pointed out, Re-imagine is a book to use by asking yourself what marketing/business problem(s) you are facing and then seeing what Tom Peters has to say.

Problem is … the book is not indexed for problem/solution usability.

Re-imagine would be better used if it was indexed like the recently published Unstuck is indexed.

Unstuck, written by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro, is a book designed to help teams and individuals overcome obstacles and make change happen today, not tomorrow. Unstuck is truly a book to be used and not necessarily read.

To encourage its usage, the authors have indexed Unstuck in a way to make it easy to jump from problem to solution. At the beginning (pg. 47) and at the end (beginning on pg. 162), are indexes that outline the problems and then the relevant solutions are listed by page number. Ingenious. Powerful.

Maybe someone out there in the business blog world is up to the task of indexing Re-imagine in the same way. Any volunteers? Bueller? Bueller?


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» Wading Through Re-Imagine from 800CEOREAD Blog
John Moore at Brand Autopsy has been trying to figure out what to do with Tom Peters' Re-Imagine. I personally think if you read it straight through, you'll end up with a headache and not really remember what you read.... [Read More]


"Not I," said the cat.

But I have done a little work on the book. You can find a bibliography of the books contained in his book. You can find it over at the 800CEOREAD blog.

Maybe I will do something with that idea. Let me think about that...

I'm going to send Mr. Tom Peters an e-mail about this topic... It's his product.

Perhaps he can put an index on his website? He had more notes than the book would hold so he added a PDF on his site... I'll let you know how it goes.

Hmmm, I'm not sure about the whole refference book thing, I ate it up, cover-to-cover. It's fairly hectic so I did a chapter a day - and loved it. Consider it the Re-Imagine diet.

I wouldn't bother mailing Tom though, he wont reply...!

Richard ... since you don't buy the reference book thing, I would love to hear your "a-ha" moments from Re-imagine. In other words, what were your major take-a-ways from the book?

A chapter a day is probably the best way to read Re-imagine. However, I believe Re-imagine is a book to use and not to read.

Your blog, which is pretty cool, mentions you are evangelizing Re-imagine. How are you talking about it?

I'm just curious to learn perspectives from others ... hence my questions. Thanks.

Re-ply! (Part 1)
When I read business books, I read them with a pen and a highlighter, attacking the pages with a vengance. On the back cover I make notes of the pages that really made an impact; there were a lot of these in Re-imagine! (See Part 2 tomorrow)

The thing is, by design I think that all bizz books are there to be used and not read, I just don't agree that they are encyclopedias, I think they're brain/thought agitators. This particular book is not meant to sit on a shelf awaiting perusal down the line; it's meant to change the way you look at stuff. That's what it did for me, or at least it enhanced things for me. I tell people that this aint a book, it's a punk rock fist-in-the-air anthem, and like punk rock, this book just isn't for everyone.

An encyclopedia is not a book you read from cover to cover. It's a book you refer to as neede. Re-imagine! wont work if you use it this way, it's too reveloutionary to utelise reactivley (i.e. read a section when a problem arises). You need to have read it first, if you didn't you wouldn't know what you were looking for, index or no index.

I use some of the content in talks I give, these are customised to suit clients needs, it's just that so often, my clients are buying what Tom Peters (and Seth Godin, and Joe Calloway) is selling.

This is more long winded thatn I intended, my point is that you won't be able to guess what he's selling unless you read the whole book in the first place, then refer to it later. A hint though, use your own refferance/indexing method, it'll be more relevant to you.


Tomorrow Richard's list of gems...

Joe Calloway! Nice mention. I have borrowed a lot from his book, Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison. Wait. Borrowed is too light a term. I have STOLEN perspectives from this book and used liberally.

If you are facing the threat of your business being commoditized ... Joe's book is a must read.

We look forward to Rich's "Ah-Ha" moments from Re-imagine.

Re-Ply! (Part 2)

My A-ha moments:
Pg. 22 "Fighting the last war..." the best analogy for the battle the big corporates are facing today, using this anolgy, the message always sinks in.
Pg. 25 "The five week plan" I'm currently struggling with a five-minute plan... THE FIVE YEAR PLAN IS OBSOLETE. It's also a cop-out as the fifth year is a carrot on a stick, it's always five years away.
Pg. 36 "Beees do it..." very relevant to a job I'm working on at the moment
Pg. 68 "I want that damn book..." I always say that the customer isn't always right, that's BS. However, the customer always has the right. This talks to that.
Pg.82 "Think..." I just love this
Pg. 107 "Ribbon power" so true, yet so untapped
Pg. 116 "What we sell..." It never ceases to amaze me how few of my customers understand what they're actually selling, specifically the banks.
Pg. 123 "Experiece magnification" A great way of looking at things, and a great yard stick for your product. Missing Link works this way, and it's been effective for us.
Pg 152 "Beauty contest" I'm implimenting this at the moment with our quotes, I'm certain the results will be good (will let you know)
Pg153 "Gaming the system" this is a challenge I give in talks I do, I think the sculptor analogy is brilliant
Pg 198 - 200 Read these pages, if they don't increase your heart rate and getting you going then nothing will. I hate mediocre success - it's for cowards.
Pg 214 "outside-the-company thinking" Too many of the companies I deal with have taken their culture thing too far, it actually promotes a hive mind i.e. nothing new. I believe poorly run induction session are (partly) to blame here.
Pg 231 "The point of a presentation..." I own a presentation company, this point is so true. I took a permanent marker, and before I knew whjat I was doing it, I wrote it on my office wall (I think I started something)
Pg 259 '"Train train train" this figure scares me, but I believe it - if this is your company, be ashamed.
Pg 264 "Where do good new ideas come from..." So true, yet lazy HR depts apply a cookie cutter approach
Pg 271 "Courtisy check" he's not wrong here, we men need to catch a wake up
Chapter 22: A topic close to my heart, I'm busy with a book "Deaducation -the downfall of hire education" lots of good stuff here
Pg298 "the best swordsman" what a great, and true analogy
Pg327 "There's a war on" I intend on winning
Pg330 "Leaders forget" this is outstanding, it soon found a place on my wall.

There were many more notes I made, I randomly skipped through them to give you a cross section of what I liked, not all of them were a-ha moments as such, but they were great nonetheless.

When I give a talk, I scan the back pages of books that I've read, and find the relevant notations I've made. This works for me, try it.

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