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Thriving On Chaos Paperback – Jan 11 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Jan. 11 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060971843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060971847
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #549,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Addressing American industry's continuing decline in foreign and domestic markets, Peters (In Pursuit of Excellence) here offers a detailed plan for unstructured business activity in which some readers will see not only chaos but anarchy. Nevertheless, the author's perception of high quality as a determining consumer motivation and his radical recipe for achieving it are persuasive. Noting that smaller service-oriented businesses like Federal Express prosper while mammoth GE and GM falter, Peters would largely eliminate top-heavy management superstructures in favor of creative worker involvement and customer participation, with supervisors on hand to encourage. This textbook cites dozens of specific business situations and person-to-person responses in support of its step-by-step instructions for turning a failing enterprise aroundif those involved can act fast. 150,000 first printing; Fortune Book Club main selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In contrast to the mass of oversimplified business survival manuals, this one justifies itself. After demonstrating in his previous books ( In Search of Excellence , with Robert Waterman, and A Passion for Excellence ) what he calls the "nice-to-do" in order for an organization to achieve success, Peters now proposes the "must-do" to survive in explosively changing times. His 45 "prescriptions" for survival boil down to enlightened leadership through innovation and flexibility in management style and organizational structure. Essential. A.J. Anderson, G . S.L . I . S . , Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I just read this and two things stand out. First, there are some things that really never change, and as a result, Peters makes a huge impact here.
On the other hand, this was written before the net, much of the new automation inventions and much of the new technology as well. So, you just have to adjust his words to fit today's business environment.
Now, for the book. What he says is common sense to many workers and managers alike, but is looked at in horror by upper management and CEOs. So many CEOs believe that if they don't have total control over everything, then they're "out of control" and thus, running a bad organization.
NOT TRUE. As Peters indicates, if you hire competent people and give them the tools they need to do their work, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised with the quality of work that comes from them. In other words, drive down the decision making and create an autonomous environment for employees and your organizational flexibility increases, your profits will rise and with the right measures, you will succeed.
This is a kind-of-classic that all business leaders should at least have read. However, I think books such as Built To Last and First, Break All The Rules are more up to date and have since developed newer, more relevant theories that apply to all industries.
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Format: Paperback
Tom Peters, with Passion for Excellence, has been a great inspiration for me to start all kinds of innovations in customer service (quite some years later I still got positive responses out of the market) and my organization back in the 80s. You could say he was my "guru". So, when Thriving on Chaos was published, I immediately purchased it and start reading it with high expectations. How unfortunate .... as I became quickly very disappointed (I was never able to finish it in total). It was too much of the same as in Passion for Excellence. Just different words to many of the same topics. A professional writer who wants to get more money out of you while not providing you with more knowledge. I stopped buying more books from Tom Peters and was for some time very hesitant buying other management books. Now, many years later, I sometimes go back to the book without all these emotions I had when I bought it. I have to admit there are many inspiring subjects in it, some of them better described than in Passion for Excellence. So my conclusion is that the book can be very helpful for people who need inspiration for change and innovation, even though it is already quite some years old and has nothing in it about todays subjects like the Web. But as I have started with Passion for Excellence, I will probably never be able to rate Thriving on Chaos as high as Passion for Excellence (five stars).
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Format: Paperback
This book presents a strategy for meeting the uncertainty of the current competitive markets through creating customer responsiveness, pursuing fast-paced innovation, achieving flexibility by empowering people, learning to work in an environment of change, abandoning conventional wisdom, and the reconceiving of organizational systems. This is a fascinating book that has the distinct and unmistakable quality of Tom Peters' exuberant, jazzy style. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, author of Stern's SourceFinder Master Directory to HR and Management Information and Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder.
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By A Customer on March 17 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is easily TP's best work to date. The concrete examples are terrific and energy exudes from each page. The book is structured in a way for easy reading - it's hard to put down
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Probably great if you haven't read Passion for Excellence July 21 2000
By Versteeg, Marcel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tom Peters, with Passion for Excellence, has been a great inspiration for me to start all kinds of innovations in customer service (quite some years later I still got positive responses out of the market) and my organization back in the 80s. You could say he was my "guru". So, when Thriving on Chaos was published, I immediately purchased it and start reading it with high expectations. How unfortunate .... as I became quickly very disappointed (I was never able to finish it in total). It was too much of the same as in Passion for Excellence. Just different words to many of the same topics. A professional writer who wants to get more money out of you while not providing you with more knowledge. I stopped buying more books from Tom Peters and was for some time very hesitant buying other management books. Now, many years later, I sometimes go back to the book without all these emotions I had when I bought it. I have to admit there are many inspiring subjects in it, some of them better described than in Passion for Excellence. So my conclusion is that the book can be very helpful for people who need inspiration for change and innovation, even though it is already quite some years old and has nothing in it about todays subjects like the Web. But as I have started with Passion for Excellence, I will probably never be able to rate Thriving on Chaos as high as Passion for Excellence (five stars).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An Oldie but a Goodie Feb. 6 2003
By Jay Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just read this and two things stand out. First, there are some things that really never change, and as a result, Peters makes a huge impact here.
On the other hand, this was written before the net, much of the new automation inventions and much of the new technology as well. So, you just have to adjust his words to fit today's business environment.
Now, for the book. What he says is common sense to many workers and managers alike, but is looked at in horror by upper management and CEOs. So many CEOs believe that if they don't have total control over everything, then they're "out of control" and thus, running a bad organization.
NOT TRUE. As Peters indicates, if you hire competent people and give them the tools they need to do their work, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised with the quality of work that comes from them. In other words, drive down the decision making and create an autonomous environment for employees and your organizational flexibility increases, your profits will rise and with the right measures, you will succeed.
This is a kind-of-classic that all business leaders should at least have read. However, I think books such as Built To Last and First, Break All The Rules are more up to date and have since developed newer, more relevant theories that apply to all industries.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read - Still - 25 Years Later June 14 2013
By Edward J. Barton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Twenty years into a managerial career, and I finally reread this book. I read it many years ago, and found Tom Peters to be a motivational, inspirational and enlightened thinker - certainly in the early 90's. I have spent the last 20 years in management, with the most recent 10 years in "C" Level (CFO, COO, CEO) positions. On a whim, and in reflection of my earlier affinity for Peters', I repurchased this book to reread. Let me tell you, the prospective buyer and reader, that he is SPOT ON.

Many of the approaches advocated by Peters in this 700 page tome I have adopted in my own approach to organizational management. It works. His approach is one of honesty, openness, transparency, innovation, education and empowerment. These principles work - and work well. If anything, the maxims outlined by Peters in 1987 are even more applicable with today's worker and complex business organization.

What are those maxims? The book centers around an applicable and specific set of tasks to achieve "enlightened management". Peters uses the themes of:

*Customer Focus
*Innovation
*Empowering People
*Leadership
*Systems

To lay a groundwork for change within any organization. Each of these themes are covered in some detail in the book, and Peters breaks them down into 5-10 tasks, with a "To Do List" for each. The blueprint is right here, in the book. Just pick it up, make the list, apply it to your organization, and you are off and running.

The edition I have (second) also has a bit of a retrospective written a few years later, and emphasizing the lessons learned by Peters since the initial authoring of the book.

All in all, a MUST READ for anyone working for me. And it probably should be a must read for any manager and above - at a minimum. Peters knows his stuff, his stiff works, and there is nothing better than the succinct and actionable format that you will find in this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Recognizing that change is essential to success Jan. 7 2010
By John J. Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Having read almost all of Peter's works, I find this to be one of his best. As we all navigate through challenging times globally now, his attacks on status quo serve as timely reminders of the need for constant improvement."

Feedback is always welcomeAs always, feedback or comments are welcome

Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE
HoganHospitality
HospitalityEducators com
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Thrive on Chaos or let the sharks eat you alive. April 3 2006
By Michael Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although Peters first wrote this book nearly twenty years ago, many of his insights are now reaching Prime Time. Thriving on Chaos is obviously a classic, yet what surprised me the most is how Peters intuitively understands that some things never change. Business serves the customer (period).

Innovation, Flexibility, Productivity, Competitive Advantage, Supply-Chain Management, ... In the end, the ultimate master is the customer (at least in the free world). No one commands or forces the customer to buy a given product (or service), it's a free market. Consumers buy or don't buy based on perceived benefits. Products either meet customer demands or risk being ripped to shreds by the simple act of non-purchase.

As an example, I'm a vegetarian and am highly sensitive to food labels containing the words "Natural Flavors" which may contain meat and meat by-products. Therefore, I select those products not containing such mystery ingredients and punish those that use them (through non-purchase).

Much of what Peters talks about is taking shape today. Ivory-Tower management superstructures are all but a distant memory. Creativity, Innovation, and Empowerment are all the rage as developed countries are grasping for an edge in a world gone mad. Wholesale shifting of jobs overseas, corporate scandals, and increasing government regulation set employees and managers on edge. Prescription for change includes active customer participation in creating products and tapping into the creative potential of worker's minds.

Thriving on Chaos is sure to jumpstart your brain:

Peters says that "'If it aint broke, you just haven't looked hard enough' Fix it anyway." So true. Good enough is never good enough. Since the advent of the Net, customers are asserting control like never before. And, competitors are swarming like a pack of hungry sharks ready to tear off a piece of your market share.

To survive you need to learn to love change, and you need to learn how to Thrive on Chaos!

------------------

Michael Davis, Editor - Byvation

"Business Success through Innovation"


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