In Search of Excellence Turns 25

Almost 25 years ago managment guru Tom Peters published In Search of Excellence. This was a groundbreaking book and continues to be an important addition to anyone’s business book library. I think I will reread to book to mark the occasion. However, noting the day is not the sole purpose of this blog. In a newsletter I received from Tom Peters the following paragraph caught my eye and I thought the all human resources professionals should pay heed.

“Our core belief, just like the best Professional Service Firms from whom we can all learn so much, is that “people excellence” is at the very core of future success. Achieving the “people-talent” mindset transformation is Job #1, and this is just as tough with the people inhabiting the Board Room as it is with the folks on the front line. The first indicator of a future winner is whether the leaders see their people as talent and see their prime function as being to position their talent in a context where they can create maximum value for the business. The leaders pass Excellence Test #1 when their front liners attest that they feel like talent – when they’re at work, that is!”

Note what I put in bold face. Is your organization one that recognizes the importance of people as talent?

If yes ask yourself:

  • How do we perpetuate this?
  • How do we communicate this?

If the answer is no, ask yourself:

  • How can we turn this around?
  • How does this affect our position in the marketplace?
  • How does this affect our ability to attract people?
  • If I cannot impact this do I really want to continue to work here?

If you have never read In Search of Excellence I suggest you pick up a copy. And then become a Tom Peters fan.

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