Tom Peters Headlines HOW Design Live 2015

You’re probably thinking: Tom Peters … isn’t he the guy who writes books for executives and corporate leaders?

Saying that Tom Peters writes books only for C-suiters is like saying that Dr. Seuss only wrote books for children. Don’t tell the millions of adults who loved “The Cat in the Hat” that it’s not for them.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 2.05.08 PMIn fact, Tom Peters has written lots of books for executives — and, more important, for the rest of us. In addition to co-authoring “In Search of Excellence” (the bestseller you’ve probably heard of), he’s written or co-written “The Pursuit of WOW!” “The Little Big Things” and his “Excellence Now” series of well-designed and highly digestible e-books.

To call Peters a prolific writer is an understatement: He blogs and throws out bits of wisdom via Twitter like a guy with his hair on fire. He writes about excellence (of course), but also about design and teamwork and creativity, about building your own brand, about running a successful service-based agency (whether you’re an in-house creative department or a design studio) and about doing great work. He shares free downloads of material from his presentations and manifestos from his writing.

All of which is why Tom Peters is headlining HOW Design Live 2015. (It’s quite a coup to land him, really.) We’ve culled a few snippets from his work that particularly resonate with creative pros:

From “Radical Personal Development” (manifesto)

  • Your work is not about you. Think about it: When do you feel most fulfilled at work? When you’re part of a team contributing something of value to serve a larger purpose. When do you feel most crappy at work? When you’re a pair of hands hired to crank out (fill in the blank).
  • “The Illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler
  • Take a nanosecond to say “thank you” for the tiniest atoms of helpfulness.

The fun part is laying a creative trip on a dull, rote or boring task or assignment. Turn shit into WOW!

From “Design Rules!” (manifesto)

  • Design is the principal difference between love and hate. Design is never neutral. It’s 99% about emotional response.
  • Furthermore, design applies to everything — to our words, to our personal style, to our interactions with others — and it’s everywhere — in meetings, spaces, communications, services.
  • So, don’t think you own the idea of design simply because you’re a practitioner — and don’t apply your design thinking just to your visual output.

From “Getting Stuff (That Matters) Done” (ebook)

  • cover150x250When people start stealing your stuff, you’re making enormous progress.
  • You have to champion your own ideas — don’t expect others to do it for you. You’re your own best salesperson. Get comfortable with selling yourself.
  • You have to take breaks. “We are rarely aware of our degree of burnout. That is, until we take a break or break down — upon return we are astonished, as are our colleagues, at how refreshed we are and how obvious it is in retrospect that the tank had been 90% empty.

Catch Tom Peters and the rest of the high-profile speakers presenting at HOW Design Live next May in Chicago. Browse the entire agenda, then choose the sessions from five different programs that best fit your needs and interests. Start making plans for HOW Design Live: Register now.