Tom Peters
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
ISBN: 1-4053-0581-9
Price: £14.99
Reviewer: Julian Burch

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It certainly is different. Dorling Kindersley’s graphic design team has been really busy with this one. The author describes this book as a “rant”, and it is probably the closest you can get to experiencing a live rant in print.

First impressions are striking. The ideas and case studies are well researched and the writing style sets out to provoke a response right from the start. Chapters including New Technology, New Markets and New People attempt to categorise the author’s observations on what is needed to do business successfully in this “disruptive age”. Each page employs a vibrant use of colour and images to bring the messages to life, interspersed with snippets and mini case studies to prove important points.

But I found it more than a little wearing to read. The page design made it hard to follow the messages at times, and the ideas themselves often felt a little obvious. Still, obvious or not, such ideas rarely seem to be taken on board successfully in the real world, and shouting about them is what makes today’s management ‘guru’ so popular.

For me, however, the trick is really about how to make such changes actually happen, and that’s never quite such a high-profile topic. But then, that is what I do for a living.

If you’re already a Tom Peters’ fan, or if you’ve been lucky enough to see him live, you’ll love this book. If not, it may well serve as a good introduction to his style and approach. Either way, this book is eye-catching at the very least, and certain to be a refreshing addition for those consultants looking for the latest in ‘must-have’ coffee-table chic.

Julian Burch runs interim and HR consultancy Ten Elephants

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