The Tom Peters Seminar

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

If George III were still ruling the citizens of North America, he would be trying to round up Tom Peters along with Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and other revolutionaries. Jest as this latter trio, along with the other Founding Fathers, brought about a genuine revolution in government over two centuries ago, Tom Peters has been working for two decades to generate a similar upheaval in the business world. THE TOM PETERS SEMINAR is his most radical strike against corporate bureaucracy and the penchant of managers to guide their organizations according to rational principles which Peters finds sadly outmoded in the crazy world of the 1990’s.

In nine exhilarating chapters, Peters illustrates the necessity for everyone involved in American business to embrace three maxims: Businesses are now characterized by “more intellect, less materials”; a corporation’s “only asset is the human imagination;” and finally, “crazy times call for crazy organizations.” He follows through with his now-familiar technique of piling example upon example, overwhelming readers with details to convince them of the soundness of his pronouncements. Peters has always been good at seeing the connections between disparate incidents, and in THE TOM PETERS SEMINAR he brings his insights into sharp focus in spotting all that is wrong with contemporary corporate America. Fortunately, he also proposes solutions for the problems he uncovers; those brave enough to follow his advice should, he insists find their companies (and themselves) thriving in an environment where concepts such as “corporate structure,” “division of labor,” and “going through channels” are passe. Adopting his philosophy will require a great leap of faith, as he well recognizes: it will force those at the top of the current hierarchy to trust everyone in the company to do his or her job with exceptional autonomy (including a great deal of financial autonomy). Only when every employee is a businessperson and an entrepreneur will companies be positioned to survive and thrive in a climate where having a strong network of associates and friends outweighs technical competence.