"Avoid moderation in all things." Tom Peters
I just finished an hour+ walk on the streets of Miami. I imagine I saw, say, 500 "workers." In bank branch lobbies. Hotels. Restaurants. Other miscellaneous shops. Heading into law firms and PR firms. And so on. And on.
I bet 98% (literally) have pretty standard bosses who, in turn, are embedded in pretty standard hierarchies. And I further bet that the reach of most of their markets is about five blocks, and no more than the Miami border.
And so on.
(Oh dear, and 98%++ don't even read my blog ... or Tweet.)
That is, about 98% of the people I saw are pretty much unaffected by all of the "cool" stuff and "weird" stuff and "world-upside-down" stuff that about 98% of the "gurus" (me included!!) write about 98% of the time.
That is, I sometimes (right now) wonder what we "gurus" are doing to help/be of service to 98% of the working people of the world, from Miami to Chicago to, yes, beloved San Francisco and Amsterdam and Dubai?
Just a thought.
Liberation Management ran 834 pages. It more or less includes "everything" as I saw it in 1992. I'd not change a word. I was trying to figure out what was up in a brave new world, and needed to wander around a large set of ideas and examples, from IDEO to Germany's Mittelstand marvels.
On the other hand, and at the other end of the spectrum, there's the 140-character world of Twitter. And I am enjoying the hell out of it. Most days I do 4 or 5 Tweets—except when I don't.
It makes me feel lazy—I should be posting here more.
On the other hand, at age 67 I am learning how to write. Finally. It's absolutely amazing how much you can say in 140 characters.
[Ed. You can follow Tom on Twitter here.]
Debbie Weil, a social media consultant and author of The Corporate Blogging Book, catches up with Tom at the Inc 500/Inc 5000 Conference this past Friday, and asks him why blogging has changed his life. See her blog post and video.
I am a special fan of pitchers' duels. Zero-zero with 2 down in the ninth—then Boog Powell (old Baltimore Oriole) hits a walkoff home run and Dave McNally racks up a one hitter. That'd have been my idea of heaven. On the other hand, I enjoyed the heck out of the Red Sox game I attended last Wednesday. Sox won. Fine. (I'm an A's fan—still. Mostly.) Sox won big. 18-5. But what was a kick, to this fan of pitchers' duels, was a game with 37 hits! Twenty-three for the Sox, 14 for the Twins!
But neither the Red Sox nor the Twins nor Boog Powell is the topic of this Post.
Susan and I and my stepson Ben were in the sun behind home plate on Wednesday in Fenway for the Hit Parade. The temperature in the shade was well over ninety—edging toward triple digits. And the humidity was as you'd expect from a waterfront city in July. That is, it was hotter 'n stickier than hell—with room to spare.
I have decided that such hot weather—and accompanying high humidity—must be the norm this summer. How did I reach this conclusion? Simple. By reading recent sets of Comments. I love them one and all, and that's the truth—but I must say that there must be a lot of folks, certainly not all, or even most, suffering from the blistering summer heat and accompanying Houstonian humidity. That is, there are those who are cross. And those who are angry. Those who are sarcastic. And those who favor ad hominem attacks. Those who border on (border on?) rude—woulda merited a face slap from my Mom. And those who can't resist another gotcha, call it a "gotcha gotcha," added to their string of prior gotchas.
(Our rules of open discourse will not be suspended by invoking any special Heat Index Clause in the Patriot Act—hey, fall is coming, the temperatures will fall, and doubtless civility will rear its ever so dull head once again.)
Last week included a round tripper to Korea. Tomorrow at 4 a.m. I'm off for a month. The weekend in Vermont was perfect—such will not be the case when I return. So, I recovered from jet lag by hitting the fields—and continuing my landscaping from dawn to dusk. (More or less.) In any event, that dented the Blogging time. Sorry.
I love STEVE FARBER's Blog, on our Blogroll. It's called Extreme Leadership—and nobody does this better. "GTY" is a terrific—no, wonderful—idea. (No translation from me, you'll have to go there.)
FYI1: Steve is a terrific writer, an original thinker-writer, a masterful trainer—and a boffo public speechifier for groups of 6 or 6,000.
FYI2: Steve is a longtime colleague—but sometimes I forget how much I think of him and his work.
Check out the comments to "Packing Light(?)." There are superb links, worth a chunk of time, far better than I'd have offered ... I guess that's the whole point of Blogging, eh?
"Mr Thank You Note" (me) is indeed remiss in thanking all of my colleagues who Posted while I was away. From the number of comments and quality of comments, let alone the content, it seems to have been a smashing success!
(Rick Semler, management guru and Semco [Brazil] founder, once offered a revision of MBWA/Managing By Walking Around. His MBWA was Managing By Walking Away. He almost religiously took a 6-week vacation in a place where he couldn't be reached (ever more difficult). His logic: Only by being truly out of touch could he truly delegate. I like that. And that's what seems to have occurred here. My colleagues, in the absence of Old Motormouth, outdid themselves!!! Well, New Zealand is on the planning boards already for January 2008.)
(A little more New Zealand below.)
There seem to be two blogging camps—bloggers who allow comments at their sites and bloggers who don't. Tom has always welcomed the opportunity to participate in conversation with his readers. For some bloggers, the drawbacks to maintaining the conversation outweigh the benefits, and they decide against using that feature. Jason Kottke is one of them. His audience, however, decided that what they had to say was too important to keep to themselves. Biz Stone, author of Who Let the Blogs Out (a great beginner's guide to blogging), pointed out the Kottke readers' site: Kottke Komments. They republish Kottke's posts and enable comments. This is a fascinating development in that we've been hearing so much about people creating websites to discuss their favorite products or brands, and now it seems a bit like the camera is being aimed at the photographer. How will this affect Kottke's blog? Will readership decline? What if a decline in readership of the original blog impacts ad revenue? If this new site is successful, would it inspire Kottke to try to take control of the situation by opening comments at his blog? Here at tompeters.com, we're familiar with the challenges of maintaining a comment feature, and so respect a blogger's choice on the matter. That said, what do you think?
I can already feel the withdrawal symptoms making their way toward my consciousness. In two hours I pack off my computers ... speak to the Inc. 500 25th anniversary gathering here in San Francisco at the Fairmont ... and then head to New Zealand. And 3 weeks later (12 February) I surface again.
No %^$)@ computer!
I've been wondering when I was last computer-free for this long. Surely in an earlier millennium. As I mentioned before, Susan will conduct an inspection that will put the TSA to shame. Only my camera—and her iPod—is/are allowed under the category labeled "electronics." Even the ratio of non-fiction to fiction books will be assessed. No sport coat. No ties. ("But what if we go to dinner in a nice place?" "Tough.") I am considering an audio Blogpost or two—assuming I don't get caught—maybe while Sergeant Sargent (as in Susan Sargent, spouse) is in the shower.
Well, I will truly miss our communal gathering—hold the fort until I return. And a heartfelt thanks for making this a useful and exciting community!
(I had planned some pithy observation about business & management & life as we know it as sendoff Post. In the end ... I had too damn much packing to do.)
(The photo is of the fabled San Francisco Ferry Building, once home base for the Port of San Francisco—it's at the foot of Market Street.)
To cut down on spam attacks we have a limit on the number of links you can include in a comment. And that limit is one. So if you've tried to include more than one link in a comment it goes into comment purgatory. From which we can save it if we find it. But the better alternative is to just limit your links to one and then your comments won't get held up. Thanks for your understanding.
As I wrote all this, I realized how much I live for this Blog! (NB: Today's Posts required well over 10 drafts. You know, the Tiger Woods thing.)
We've had a flurry of additions to our blogroll, and I thought I'd take a moment to announce them:
* MarketingProfs:DailyFix takes blog entries from around the Web, mixes them with original content, and puts everything people are saying about marketing in one place. The result is an excellent resource. They've re-blogged a few of Tom's posts.
* Trump University is also re-publishing Tom's stuff. What better avenue could there be for us to get a wide audience for his writing. We'd recommend you take a look. Donald Trump's blog.
* Rethink Pink. The website promoting this annual Marketing-to-Women symposium has a blog. The subject is so important to Tom, how could we not?
* Strategic Name Development is the website of a naming consultancy. The factors that go into choosing a name for a business are complex, worthy of a blog, and a cool addition to the topics on our blogroll.
* Expreference. An American business owner in China blogs about his work, the culture, and his day-to-day life experience. Fascinating. Lots of photos and videos. A valuable, intimate look at China.
* Steve Farber, Cool Friend, speaker, writer, inspirationalist. His latest book is The Radical Edge.
* Bob Sutton, Cool Friend, author of Weird Ideas That Work.
* Richard Cauley is a contributor to our comments. He's inspired a PowerPoint slide by Tom, and he has a blog called patent warrior. Take a look.
I'm sorry if I missed anybody. As I said, there've been quite a few additions recently. With RSS, the blogroll becomes less important than it was, even in the short (tho' not short in Internet time) two years since we started this blog. But our blogroll represents our recommendations for you to sample, and if you see anything you like you can subscribe to their RSS feeds. It's long and messy. We like it like that! Maybe one day it will extend all the way down the front page.
(1) Above, I used the word "Blog."
(2) I regularly and automatically receive, as all of us PC users presumably do, my Microsoft updates.
(3) When I wrote "Blog" I got the Red Line. ("Bog" and "Blob" were among suggested alternatives.)
(4) Does the continued failure to recognize "Blog" have anything to do with MS's continuing problems becoming "Web-centric," something the ancient Ray Ozzie once again says is a priority?
(Yes, I can imagine a hundred reasons why updates might not include my Word dictionary—but, still ...)
Today completes our second full year of Blogging. What a ride!
I am well aware at the two-year mark that short, open-ended Posts often draw the most comments. And that looooong ones don't—e.g. three for yesterday's "Book of the Century." Nonetheless, I'll keep doing occasional long Posts. These mini-essays examine things I care deeply about. (Often they help me clarify my own thinking.) While they are long by Blog standards—say 500 words—they are short by Harvard Business Review standards. Doing a 500-word essay on a complex issue certainly helps me clarify my own thinking! (I appreciate your indulgence.)
A remarkable thing is happening in the blogging community (please don't make me say blogosphere ... yuck) in Beirut and Northern Israel. First-hand accounts of a humanitarian crisis, painfully real, are being posted to the web in real time.
While most blogs are written by "citizen journalists," I have become addicted to the Yahoo News Sponsored blog by Kevin Sites titled "Hot Zone." I have been reading it ever since he posted on a clinic my organization helps fund on the Thai-Myanmar border. Kevin has been on a mission to report from every war zone in the world in one year, and he's currently posting from Lebanon.
His mission is to put a human face on global conflict by telling the personal stories of citizens/families caught in the crossfire ... powerful stuff ... and well written with photographs and video.
He has been posting from Lebanon for two days, and while most of the blog comments (around 600 total so far for his first post from the region) take sides in the conflict and place blame, my thoughts are with the children ...
Our friend and former colleague, Geoff Thatcher, is looking for some quick feedback on a blog he and a co-worker have fast prototyped. Geoff works for Carat, which calls itself an independent media communications network. There is one business unit there that specializes in placing executives from Philips, HP, Amdocs, SAP, and other companies as keynote speakers at events around the world. Apparently, folks there have been talking about creating a website to support that unit for the last couple of years.
Tired of waiting, Geoff and his co-conspirator have set up AboveCLevel.net, and he's anxious to get feedback on the site. If people vote thumbs up, he'll take the info to his leadership team. If it's thumbs down, well, hardly any money spent and no one the wiser. Except you folks who visit. Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners (design firm that took tompeters.com from static website to blog-powered site) is responsible for the clever AboveCLevel name.
Tom was trolling the Web recently, followed a link here, a link there, and ended up at Ed Batista's blog. Loved it. And Ed Batista became the next addition to our blogroll. Here are the entries Tom especially liked: Update on Pfeffer and Sutton's Hard Facts and Jon Stewart's commencement address.
Welcome to the blogroll, Ed.
Trevor came to the London event the week before last—finally, a face to go with the name of one of our most frequent contributors to the Blog. (Other London pics at "Tom's Photos"/Flickr.)
Our friends at www.blogidarity.org think that $1/month can save a life. We agree. Also, you'll recognize most of the names of the blogidarity folks from the comments pages here at tompeters.com. Thanks to Felix Gerena, Rosa Say, Trevor Gay, Steve Sherlock, Troy Worman, Rocky Noe, and Phil Gerbyshak for putting together this life-saving and life-affirming site. One of their beneficiaries also happens to be Clear Path International, which our friend and guest blogger, James Hathaway, co-founded. Click on over to www.blogidarity.org and donate some money.
One of my pet peeves is the "dumbed down" conversation. I've heard too many of them lately. In contrast, the comments on my last two posts are rich, interesting and thoughtful. Thank you.
I wrote those posts at O'Hare Airport Friday evening, just before boarding an overnight flight. After a stop in Frankfurt with friends, I arrived in Jerusalem before dawn yesterday (Sunday) and spent the day relaxing away from the online world. I just flipped open my computer at my favorite Jerusalem coffee shop, Tmol Shilshom, which is in an old, funky building in the center of town. Central Jerusalem has free wireless access, so I was able to check in for the first time in a few days.
What a pleasure to come back from a few days of "head clearing" and read those comments. I love it when people think and engage in good debate and conversation. Let's keep doing it!
We're quite happy that our Cool Friend Fara Warner has decided to add her voice to the blogosphere. She's the author of The Power of the Purse. Check out her blog here and her Cool Friend interview here. Welcome Fara!
More SXSW: Jory Des Jardins, one of the organizers of BlogHer, gave a two-minute(+) talk on the theme "What's the Secret?" and Erik Hansen was there to catch her on video. I think you'll enjoy listening to her comments. One caution: It was taken with a video camera by someone in the audience, so it's not the highest quality, but other than a couple of garbled sentences, amazingly good under the circumstances. Here's the link. Or the long route to the video through Jory's blog. (And the transcript is there, if you want to read the parts you miss on the video.)
"The Blog Establishment" is the title of New York magazine's cover story this week (February 20). Associated articles include: "Ranking The Top 50" (BoingBoing is no. 1, Andrew Sullivan no. 50), "The Traffic Racket," "Blogonomics." There's a nice timeline of Blog history, starting with Links.net, the first Blog ever, created in 1994 by Swarthmore student Justin Hall. For me, at least, the article was fun and informative.
Finally! The New York Times has joined blog-world. To the more cynical among you, this may be ho-hum, but to me it is a BIG validation of what we do.
Thanks for the thoughtful and heartfelt comments on my last Post. As I read them, I as usual enjoyed the content—nodding, smiling, and scowling as I proceeded. But I was also, maybe mostly, thrilled (right word) anew at the global reach of the Web and Blogging. After 63+ years as a U.S. citizen, I obviously write with and cannot conceal, even if I wished to, a distinct U.S. bias that I'm not even aware of much of the time. (Not so much "pro-U.S." as, "Hey this is the only thing I know at a deep cultural level.") Nonetheless, it was a thrill (that word again) back in 1982 to see that so many from so many places took a shine to In Search of Excellence—a 100% American book. The reason, in retrospect, was obvious and not nationalistic—the book was "just" about people, people treated as intelligent + creative + worthy of the utmost respect, people contributing/capable of contributing to a greater goal that was fulfilling, even uplifting, to their enterprise and themselves, and hopefully a larger community beyond their/our immediate environs. (And to re-state the obvious, these obvious ideas that obviously led to better-sustaining performance were largely unobvious in all nooks and crannies around the world.) Likewise today in the Blogosphere, here at your-our site, tompeters.com, we are all humble and connected servants of matchless (exactly the right word!!) opportunities to engage in and contribute to this carnival called GlobalLife.2005, GlobalLife.2006. "Flat world," "global village," whatever ... we are indeed full-scale participants in a borderless (overused word—but the right one nonetheless) conversation (overused word—but the right one nonetheless) of utterly unheard of proportion—just 5 years ago. I love it, outrageous problems notwithstanding, outrageous opportunities considered—and as I said when I began these remarks, I am so heartened by the contributions/comments that appear here at all hours of the day from all corners of the globe. May our modest community continue to thrive and needle and contend about some very important (and unimportant!) stuff in 2006. I guess I should close with a homily about a "fulfilling," "uplifting" New Year. Instead I'll stick with the tried—and still true: Happy New Year! (While—to stay on message—readily acknowledging as a striving Yankee globalist that even new year's at the end of this week is very un-global. Among other things, Anglo-Saxon Moi, as usual, looks forward to traipsing to San Francisco in a couple of months for the sole purpose of enjoying an annual highlight—the Chinese New Year's parade!) (Hmmmmm ... maybe "start Mandarin lessons" ought to be on my upcoming Resolutions list.) (And, yes, I do know that Cantonese—Guangzhou-ese?—is the S.F. Chinese-American community principal non-English language, not Mandarin or simplified Mandarin.)
Just added nouveau blogger Rich Karlgaard to our Blog Roll. Rich, Publisher of Forbes magazine, is an old pal—and a wise and energetic commentator on the New Economy, assuming it's okay (again?) to use that term. (It's very okay by me. Always was.) Among many other things, social commentator Dinesh D'Souza, in his 2000 book The Virtue of Prosperity, called Rich, George Gilder, and me chief cheerleaders for what D'Souza labeled the "Party of Yeah"—vociferous advocates of the sweeping impact of the then-emergent new economy. I can't think of any duo I'd rather be paired with. Rich's new blog at Forbes.com is titled "Digital Rules" (that's also the title of his bi-weekly commentary at the magazine). We've listed it on our Blog Roll as "Rich Karlgaard/Forbes." Welcome aboard, Rich.
When I'm confused or concerned about public issues (most of the time), I almost unfailingly start my journey through/out of the wilderness via Andrew Sullivan. I occasionally or more disagree with him, but invariably leave the discussion with a shimmer of congealing clarity.
This is fun! Try it out.
(Thanks to Phoebe Espiritu for tipping us off to this little game on business-opportunities.biz.)
There's a limit—that we will decide on—to the extent of personal insults that will be tolerated in our comments. Under Tom's recent post "Me Ape, You Tarzan," an anonymous commenter crossed the line. We removed that part of the comment. It was expected, based on the nature of the blog entry, that political commentary would result, and we left attacks on Tom's political opinions untouched.
The rules of attack, in short:
Opinions: Yes. Personalities: No.
Am I the last to do this? I am beside myself with delight!
Consider this Post37000. I am at 37,000 feet on LH416 during Leg #2 (Frankfurt-IAD) of my Moscow-D.C. trip. And ... I am hooked up to the world courtesy Boeing's CONNEXION. ($9.95 per session, $29.95 per entire trip.) Yup, my in-flight privacy is in tatters, but (for the moment), what the hell!
To quote myself (Whoops!) at the beginning of my seminars: IT'S NOT YOUR FATHER'S WORLD. Perhaps more later, but I want to get this in the air before something untoward happens.
Happy October 12! (Isn't it about Columbus Day? If so, how very fitting.)
Over and out.
Some of our readers have been using our site as a self-publishing vehicle. That's what you establish your own website for. If you want people here to see your lengthy article, please put a link into the comment, not the whole article. We're deleting past posts such as I am describing, and we'll delete future posts without any further notification.
We realize that an attempt to put too many links into a comment results in a situation where we have to approve your comment before it goes live, so that may be why some of you have resorted to dropping whole articles into the discussion. But the lengthy articles bog down the discussion. Comments should be (at least marginally—we love the digressions, too!) related to the topic of the post, brief, and succinct. Please publish monographs elsewhere. If you provide links, others here have the opportunity to check out your work, at their choice.
This reminds me that there are many blogs we barely explore because business is our focus at tompeters.com. For instance, in researching the ChangeThis post I did on Friday, I found a poetry blog. Crystal King wrote a management manifesto for ChangeThis, but she also writes poetry.crystallyn.com. I'm adding that to our blogroll, too, because, yes, we think poetry has its place on a business blog.
We've been doing this blog for a year now, and we always think the standard features, like our poll, should be easy for the people who implement them for us. Especially in late 2005. But no, it seems we just don't realize the complexity of what they've built for us.
You might have noticed, if you voted earlier today, that the results that showed up didn't match the poll you voted on. Our apologies if that happened to you. It's fixed now.
A few of you have been surprised that I've been talking about depression, my Mom, etc. There are two reasons. First, I think Blogs should be personal & authentic. Hey, we're a Community! It's the Whole Damn point! Learning, Growing, Musing, and Caring together.
But the Bigger Reason is that for 30 years I've had but one "mission." While an avid devotee of the Profit Principle (among other things, confirmation that one is being of Service to one's Clients), the larger idea is that effective enterprise is all about people ... PEOPLE ... seeking the best in themselves as they work together to produce outcomes of value and significance for their various constituencies. In Search of Excellence message/s: It's the People, stupid! It's the Customers, stupid!
My great friend Warren Bennis said, "The best thing a leader can do for a Great Group is to allow its members to discover their greatness." My late colleague Boyd Clarke added, "I have always believed that the purpose of the corporation is to be a blessing to its employees." (Redux: It's the people, stupid!)
I recently published a book called This I Believe. There are 60 items/key beliefs. The last was but one word ... grace. I said (believe!) that enterprises, even while competing vigorously, can be Places of Grace. Energetic? You bet. Hustling? You bet. And also places of Great Character & Integrity & Caring. (How do you Care for your Clients if you don't Care for one another? Duh!)
So we'll continue to talk from time to time about "personal stuff." Business that works? It's bloody well personal!
Tom's 95.8 year old Mom is/has been under the weather. He's commuting almost daily between Vermont, Boston, and D.C./Annapolis. (If all goes better—well, he says, is too much to ask—he'll be on his way to Lagos & Port Harcourt, Nigeria, next Monday—as the "fall season" for business advice begins.) (Tom also declared himself pleased with his Career Education Corporation speech last week—that seldom happens—and he urges you to download the PowerPoint Deck; comments welcome.)
We're in the Top 500 (#341—take a look at the numbers for the top 3!) on feedster this month. It has to do with
how many sites are linked to us RSS subscriptions, with "freshness," etc., factored in. (We like to think "fresh" refers to our style, but it probably only means "recent.")
So, thanks to everybody out there who thought we were worthy of
a link an RSS feed! [I learned how they do the ranking after I accidentally hit "publish" instead of "draft." Sorry!!!]
Blogging tools and other systems around blogging are called "social software," but we use these tools in isolation. At the BlogHer conference this past Saturday, we got social in a non-virtual way. Yay! I met:
A Cool Friend (not something I often do face-to-face), Sharon Whiteley, CEO of Third Age; a purple-haired blogger called Badger; her compulsive-writer friend Jo, blog name: Spanglemonkey; a mommy blogger named Mary (subtitle to her blog: sanity through online journaling); a knitter called Little Judy, whose excellent blog showcases her knitting projects among other things; Tricia, whose blog name I love: cheekyattitude.com; and Jory Des Jardins, one of the organizers of BlogHer, whom I hereby welcome to our blogroll.
All have two things in common: They're women, and they write damn well.
Whew! One year!
Yup, it was one year ago today ... 27 July 2004 ... that I made my first Post at tompeters.com.
What a year! Blogging, as I've said before, has become the Epicenter of my professional life. Better said: You (Our Community!) have/has become the epicenter of my professional (and, sometimes, personal) life.
I have learned so much from you! And I, a "professional communicator," have learned so much about communication—ahem, make that "conversation," a different kettle of fish.
I've learned that it's fun to rant ... just to see what comments it attracts. I've learned that we can have fun ... and be deadly serious. I've learned that that overused word ... Authenticity ... is incredibly important in a Blogging Community (phonies and egocentrics are revealed as such pretty quickly). I've learned (the mellow version of being "Dan Rather-ed") that if you get your facts wrong, you'll hear about it ... quickly. I've learned that if you let your biases show, which is part of the idea, you'll nonetheless be reminded of it, for better or for worse.
I've learned that many of us are not afraid to share some pretty personal stuff. I've learned that we're ready and able to express strong opinions, but that 99% of the time we are respectful of opinions we think are all wet. I've learned/re-learned that principled, thoughtful, even if noisy, disagreements make the world go round ... and often lead to learning as we process a thread in our individual fashions. I've learned that a "community" knows far more than even the most expert of its members ("the wisdom of crowds" ... or some such).
I've learned how much there is to learn!
I've learned that when I suffer "Bloggers' Burnout," you'll tolerate my retreating into a shell for a while ... and that if I do retreat from time to time it ups the odds of doing good work over a longer span of time, rather than feeling I have an obligation to crank out crap just to get a Post up. (And in those "time outs," I've especially learned how dependent ... mostly in a good way ... I've become on our Community & Conversations.) (I've learned that our community is so potent that it can help me, by its very existence, cope with personal and professional irritants and setbacks.)
I've learned that all sorts of people from all sorts of places ... who don't Comment ... nonetheless follow our threads avidly (which is fine). I've learned/re-learned the age-old truth that the more you give away the more you get in return. I've learned that often short, controversial Posts generate more discussion than lengthy, essay-like Posts.
I've learned, that as in life, people join a community and drop out and then sometimes return (or not). I've learned that, as in "life," we are especially indebted to a few members, like Trevor, who take Our Little World seriously ... and devote a lot of time and thoughtfulness to making our little world a better/more interesting place. I've learned that "news" gets old ... fast; but that truly wise thoughts remain timeless. I've learned/re-learned, in that regard, that most of "wisdom"/learning actually emerges from everyday occurrences/exchanges, not Oceanic Struggles over Grand Issues.
I've learned how Incredibly Great and Educational & Fun it is for me (and presumably all of us) to have such a geographically diverse Membership!! I've learned that, time-zone differences notwithstanding, there are a lot of fellow insomniacs out there!
I've learned that although the "big idea" is freeform, stream-of-consciousness Conversation ... it takes a devoted team (think, in our case, Cathy & Erik & Halley & Phoebe & Shelley & Steve Y ... to mention but a few) to "manage" and maintain and facilitate and constantly improve "all this" ... and make it feel seamless. Mostly, I've learned how Cool & Enlightening & Fun & Emotionally Engaging & Mega-important "all this" can be/is!
There are surely bigger Blogs than ours, but there are none that are more serious about debating and engaging and adding wisdom to a set of issues that are in fact important to the way we deal with and contribute to the World around us. Yup, this is a joy and a hoot ... and actually damned important!
Happy Birthday #1 ... to All of Us! (And a Big Thanks from me to you!)
# of Comments on "Thriller" has surpassed "Fire Larry Summers" to become our most commented-on Post. I guess "organizational politics" strikes a raw nerve, regardless of one's take.
I've been invited to blog at a site where they want me to "submit" stuff to them via email or attached documents and they will use the blogging software to post my thoughts.
I know it makes sense for them. And I know on this blog, at Tom Peters.com, some of our contributors prefer working that way. But as for me, it drives me crazy!
I've found every time I get ready to blog something for this new site I've been invited to join—and they are, btw, lovely folks pushing a cause near and dear to my heart and I WANT to blog for them—I can't stand NOT having access to the software myself.
I want to be "hands-on" with the tools—especially because they are so easy to use and because I've gotten in the habit of editing and shaping the text myself, looking at it in "preview" mode, playing with it, moving paragraphs around, actually using it to be creative.
The blogging tools themselves seem to me to be an integral part of the creative process of writing now. In fact, when I have to write in a word processing format, it feels dead to me—not alive like blogging software does. And in word processing I don't "speak" the same way. It makes me feel formal and stuffy, not fresh and quick.
Word processing sounds like a "memo" to me and feels as if it lives up on a dusty shelf. Blogging feels like it's part of a "turned on" network. Does the medium really shape all messages?
Good thread on Organizational Politics going at yesterday's post, "Thriller." Join the fray!
We think we've solved the problem of the disappearing and the "You cannot comment again" comments. We upgraded the blogging software and unbeknownst to us there was an anti-spamming "10-minute delay between postings" rule in place. We've deleted the delay and that should solve the problem that some of you were experiencing today. Please let us know if you have any other problems posting comments.
Huge apologies to all our visitors who are trying to comment. We've just switched servers and our blogging software here at tompeters.com and are experiencing some problems. Some comments are just disappearing and some folks are not able to comment at all.
One thing we've been told is that the old Movable Type cookies saved in your browser might be causing some of this. So, as a first step, you could delete your old cookies. No guarantees on that one, however.
We are working on this. Hope to have this problem solved soon. And once again, our apologies for any difficulties you're experiencing.
Was patrolling our Blogroll, and ended up spending quite a bit of time at Virginia Postrel's Dynamist Blog. Go visit. It'll not be time wasted.
A hot topic this week in the blogosphere started with Joi Ito blogging about whether he'd lost his edge, gotten boring, and was not blogging about anything vital anymore because he gets so attacked in comments for having any opinion about anything.
Has extending our audience freedom of speech started to silence bloggers? I wrote about it here in some detail.
Lisa Williams spoke about a blogger's code of ethics here in her great blog "Learning The Lessons of Nixon" (also a podcast recording from her talk at Harvard Berkman Center is available). I really liked her notion of "The Living Room Doctrine" about what's acceptable in the comments section of blogs—speech and behavior that's acceptable in her living room.
Some of you wondered "where I'd gone." Thanks! Here's your answer. (1) "Blogging" took over my life. Hours (& hours) (& hours) a day. I lost a life (mine) & gained a life (ours!) and decided it wasn't necessarily a totally good deal. So now I plan to "have a life" AND share a life. Okay? (Think about it. I did.) (2) We all bump up against reality from time to time. I DID. Big time. My life has been "frenetic" since the precursor to In Search Of Excellence, 27 years ago. Due to some "personal stuff," I finally decide to deal with the obvious, my "frenetic" behavior. "Going like crazy" is something I've recommended for years. I still do! It's what gets you in the history books, from T Jefferson to Jack Welch. BUT.
But ... it costs you ... BIG TIME. And, at age 62, I have begun to consider that cost. AND... consider how BEAUTIFUL my farm is in Vermont.
So ... whatever.
I'll be around.
From time to time ...
Another of the tompeterscompany! Brits joins in. Chris Nel introduces himself below. Welcome, Chris! And his offering:
As someone with a strong bias for action, I have orbited around the giant blogging hairball for some time. Provoked and convinced at the recent meeting of the potential value of blogging, I am now here!
Why 'orbited'? ... Well, my role in Tom's business is to coach/provoke my clients, clarify and catalyse the changes they must make in their businesses in order to thrive in the b%!~*y chaos we are all facing in our organisations. The main barrier I encounter in my client businesses is beautifully described by Jeffrey Pfeffer & Bob Sutton in their book The Knowing-Doing Gap as TALK SUBSTITUTES FOR ACTION. Endless circular discussions about how to proceed. What Tom would describe as "Ready, aim,aim,aim,aim ..." in an environment where survival requires a Ready.Fire!Aim. approach. AKA action.
So ... When we blog, how can we ensure that we are adding to the amount of action in the world rather than the amount of chattering? What advice would you give me as a new blogger for helping others to take action?
What we're talking about on the front page.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.