Tom Peters

Born 1942

Tom Peters is a hugely successful management guru, considered by some to be the gurus’ guru.

Peters best known book “In Search of Excellence“, co-authored with Robert Waterman, presents 8 common themes of successful corporations:

  1. A bias for action – getting on with it.
  2. Close to the customer – learning from the customer.
  3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship.
  4. Productivity through people.
  5. Hands-on, value-driven – management walk the talk.
  6. Stick to the knitting – do what you know.
  7. Simple form, lean staff.
  8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties – have autonomy in some areas, central ideas/values in others.

These themes were based on consultant company McKinsey’s 7-S model and from analysis of 43 fortune-500 companies. Peters emphasises the role of people, customers and action and the need to move away from Taylor-ist “bean-counters”.


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