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Re-Imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age [Hardcover]

by Tom Peters
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 6, 2003 078949647X 978-0789496478 1
More than just a how-to book for the 21st Century, Re-imagine! is a call to arms -- a passionate wake-up call for the business world, educators, and society as a whole. Focusing on how the business climate has changed, this inspirational book outlines how the new world of business works, explores radical ways of overcoming outdated, traditional company values, and embraces an aggressive strategy that empowers talent and brand-driven organizations where everyone has a voice.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After decades with Knopf, influential management guru Peters switches to DK in an effort to "reinvent the business book," and while the results don't quite live up to the hyperbole, the new publisher allows for a looser design strategy that complements the author's increasingly stream-of-consciousness writing. Gray dotted lines lead from the main text to sidebars topped with category-identifying icons, and words' size, color and even typeface refuse to stay stable within a single sentence. (Design is clearly on his mind; one of the book's best passages is a rant against the poor ergonomics of the desk chairs in hotel suites.) The book's themes are mostly the same ones Peters has been developing since 1997's The Circle of Innovation and its follow-ups: small professional service firms are the wave of the future, successful companies sell dreams instead of products, and so on. Some of his ideas, like the unlimited potential of the Internet, have begun to wear a bit thin, while others need overhauling thanks to the recession. There are strong chapters on the spending power of women and the need to restructure the American education system, but not all the new twists are as satisfying. He takes on the 9/11 attacks in two business analogies: while the first interpretation of 9/11-small improvisational teams succeed against bloated infrastructures-rings true, many readers may find the second conclusion ("the Age of Large Numbers of Human Beings Crammed into Tall Towers is over") a bit tactless. But give Peters credit for being willing to stick his neck out, and expect loyal readers to follow him down this path once again.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


In Tom's world, it's always better to try a swan dive and deliver a colossal belly flop than to step timidly off the board while holding your nose. -- Fast Company, October 2003

No matter how his message is transmitted, what's wonderful about Peters is his restless mind and love of learning. -- USA TODAY, November 13, 2003

Peters is passionate, egotistical, evangelical, outrageous and often maddeningly simplistic- but always provocative and fun. -- Washington Post, October 26, 2003

Peters is the Michel Foucault of the management world: a scourge of the rationalist tradition and a celebrant of the creative necessity of chaos and craziness. -- Financial Times, September 23,2003

Tom Peters is the most provocative and engaging(as well as annoying and threatening) management guru running loose in America Today. -- CBS MarketWatch, October 28, 2003

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing; 1 edition (October 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078949647X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789496478
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Peters is co-author of In Search of Excellence--the book that changed the way the world does business, and often tagged as the best business book ever. Sixteen books and almost thirty years later, he's still at the forefront of the "management guru industry" he single-handedly invented. What's new? A lot. As CNN said, "While most business gurus milk the same mantra for all its worth, the one-man brand called Tom Peters is still reinventing himself." His most recent effort, released in March 2010: The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. Tom's bedrock belief: "Execution is strategy--it's all about the people and the doing, not the talking and the theory." (Keep up with Tom at, ranked #9 among "The Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs.")

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peters' best yet--including its failures! January 8, 2004
Before we take a step further, I have to come clean:

While managing my career, I have placed bets on Tom Peters.

There. I feel much better. And (Pete Rose's overdue confession aside) it's completely true. I have indeed gambled on Tom Peters. Not on Peters himself, but on his ideas and his advice.

His three little books from 1999--"The Brand You 50," "The Professional Service Firm 50" and "The Project 50"--played a powerful role in my decision to leave a truly dead-end job in 2000 and become a free agent. My career and my life are immeasurably richer today, thanks in part to Peters' passionate and sometimes bombastic ideas.

Given that, you'd be right to guess that I snapped up his latest work, "Re-Imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age" in the blink of an eye. I'm glad I did, though I'm not saying that Re-Imagine! is flawless. It's not. But it is eminently worthy of your time and especially so if you have never read Peters before.

Let's start with the book itself--not its contents, but its design. In jumping from his longtime publisher Knopf to design-driven DK (Dorling Kindersley), Peters takes a big chug of his own medicine. In previous books (and continuing in Re-Imagine), he has argued that design is critical to success. And this book's design is indeed a departure from "traditional" business books. It doesn't look like management book nor act like a management book. It's chockful of vivid photos, bold colors (especially Peters' trademark red), icons and imaginative screening. Marginal callouts are not fluff, but vital expressions of the soul of the book, linked to corresponding paragraphs by soft-colored swoops and lines.

It's a great experiment. I'm just not sure it how well it works.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chaotic Compilation of Crusading Canon May 9, 2004
If you have never read any of Tom Peters' books, you can skip the earlier ones and just read this one.
If you have read all of his earlier books, you can skip this one.
If you have read some of the earlier books, you can just read the topics in this one that are skipped in the earlier ones you have read. I suspect that that won't be too many.
Tom Peters is our most passionate management guru. He explodes all over his audience in anger, annoyance, passion and rapture. It's a marvelous show . . . and I highly recommend it.
He's also open to new ideas. This book, for instance, gratefully acknowledges contributions from dozens of other authors, CEOs, business thinkers and members of his own family (especially his wife). If you don't read very many business books, I was impressed to see that he cited a very high percentage of the best management books of the last dozen years or so. So if you have read very little on the subject, this book will serve you well.
As intriguing as the book is, it has important limitations. First, the format can be all but impossible to read (especially where text is printed over grey images) in places.
Second, he has blind spots in several areas that make the advice come out somewhat jaundiced. For instance, he hates anything to do with eliminating errors (such as the quality movement and Six Sigma) as though using those methods destroy any chance for innovation in any other area. In my research, I've seen innovation in every dimension of a company exist just fine side-by-side with efforts to eliminate errors and improve quality, whenever different people worked on different aspects of innovation from those working on quality improvement and error elimination.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Recycle! October 23, 2003
By A Customer
The layout of this book is irritating. Colors, pictures, full pages with one sentence hopeful sound bites - the only thing missing was the crayon.
I wouldn't have minded the layout so much if the material were fresh or even well presented. If you read the following you can skip the book: "Smell the dream." "The internet will change everything." "Honor roll students will be working for the kids who didn't make the honor roll." "Companies have to re-imagine or reinvent themselves." "Women are wired differently than men because they would design washing machines on the second floor of homes near the kids room (perhaps because they do the laundry - Mr. Peters - an insight they'd trade for less drudgery and better pay any day)." "Women buy everything (unsupported by hard statistics for luxury automobiles, SUVs, other autos, VCR's, flat screen televisions, computers, and more)." "Incrementalism is bad; make big changes - followed by 'twenty women as head of Fortune 500 companies by 2020' (there are now eight)." "Harley Davidson doesn't sell motorcycles; it sells a lifestyle."
There you have it, old material with all of its consistencies. There is good work being done at major graduate business schools on this topic, but this isn't it.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The internet didn�t change the Honor Code November 11, 2003
By A Customer
The reviewer who said it was OK to freely borrow from "Free Agent Nation" should be aware that in my view this would be a violation of our Honor Code and would probably get me kicked out of my MBA program. The internet didn't change the Honor Code.
Perhaps this book wasn't geared to MBA programs. Even so, trying to repackage to appeal to a younger audience without upgrading the content is a mistake. The reviewer below underestimates people's sense of right and wrong as well as attention spans. Mr. Peters underestimates people's ability to discriminate between form and substance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The Audible audio version is not an audiobook
The audio 'version' of this book is not the book at all. It is 45 minutes of edited excerpts from a lecture (or cuts from several lectures cobbled together). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carrie Saarinen
2.0 out of 5 stars Good firestarter
I thought this book was a joke. The formatting is really distracting and poorly conceived. A bunch of rhetoric and little to anything in here of any value. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chad M. Sorenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Peters at his finest
Tom Peters is a visionary of business no question. In Re-imagine! even the design of the book is different. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Michael L Irvin
1.0 out of 5 stars Product was incomplete
This item is a 7-disc audio book, but when I recieved one of the 7 discs was missing and the other 6 were very scratched up which caused my CD player to skip frequently.
Published 14 months ago by Dave Maucere
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the experience!
There are two versions of this book I own. The first one I purchased was ful of colorful illustrations. I found it pretty neat, but not easy to read. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sahra Badou
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to make you think
This book, I must say, really got me to thinking differently about software and business. As a developer I had always designed and written code in a reusable way. Read more
Published on November 16, 2011 by jason m wergin
3.0 out of 5 stars A colourful introduction to Peter's ideas, but with little new.
This is not quite a coffee table book, but it is probably more at home there than sandwiched on the shelf between other business titles. Read more
Published on September 3, 2011 by Steven Unwin
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-imagine business life without Re-Imagine!
"Tom Peters continues to challenge the way business is conducted. The definitive business guru and someone who I would like to meet personally, has influenced my life in a variety... Read more
Published on July 3, 2011 by M. Ahmed
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, straight to the point from Tom...
As usual, Tom gets right to point in this classic..! All the tools a "out of the box" marketing or product, innovation driven leader would need to drive their business. Read more
Published on April 29, 2011 by Bryan Smeltzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!
This is not only very entertaining, it is a timeless business reference. The book presents a valuable mindset needed for surviving and thriving in today's highly fluid business... Read more
Published on July 13, 2010 by COLO
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