I’ve been thinking all day about a story Tom Peters used to tell back in the early 90s. It went something like this. Bear with me, oral history changes in the telling.
Tom Peters at the Steel Company
It was during the time all of the big steel companies, such as US Steel. were suffering, hurting. One small company — small for the steel business — about 1200 employees was doing fine, growing as I recall the story. Tom Peters went out to Ohio to speak with the president of the company. He wanted to know how this company could be beating the odds. Then he found out something even more interesting. The company had no job descriptions. As I remember, Tom quoted the dialogue this way.
Tom said something like, “How can you run a company of 1200 people with no job descriptions?”
The president answered, “We’re trying a new management technique. We talk to each other.”
Forgive me, Tom, if I got the details slightly skewed. It’s clear that I got the point. I’ve passed it on for years, with your name attached.
Just now when I went to Tom Peters’ blog to find a link, I found this one. It asks whether the great ideas of the past, such as those of Tom Peters had a positive impact. Click the title to read the short post about it.
Yeah, I think the impact has been positive. I’m still passing it on.
–ME “Liz” Strauss