Thursday, October 20, 2005

Rediscovering "WOW!"

In 1994 I read a book by Tom Peters, "The Pursuit of WOW!" which I really enjoyed. What made the book so enjoyable was how unconventionally it was arranged. It was more like a 350 page magazine than a traditional business book. It has more than 200 vignettes of wisdom that are playful, pithy and punchy.

Yesterday, while I was looking for something on my bookshelf, this brightly colored tome jumped out at me. It called out "put me in you blog". (Okay, the book did not really talk).

So I decided to randomly open the book to one of the numbered sections and write about whatever topic I found. Page 173, "WOW Point" #118:

"Sometime during the two-year curriculum, every MBA student ought to hear it clearly stated that numbers, techniques, and analysis are all side matters. What is central to business is the joy of creating" -From Peter Robinson in The Red Herring.

This short paragraph is a great reminder that business is not all about formulas. Very often in a company someone higher up the chain (the sales manager, CEO, Board of Directors or venture investors) lose sight of why they are in the business and become totally focused on the numbers. They turn up the heat on those down the line, and the pressure takes all the joy, the "WOW!", out of the job.

While I am all about making a profit (I have seen first hand what happens to a business when the economics don't work), we should never lose sight of the joy in our careers. Work should be fun. Getting out of bed in the morning is delightful if you have an exciting place to spend the day.

Do you still find joy in your career? Do you foster and environment for your employees and co-workers that allow them to use their creative talents to help advance the cause of your organization? Do you pursue WOW?

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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