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SAN DIEGO, Calif.—The rapid pace of change in the world has put a premium on innovative thinking by business managers, author and management consultant Tom Peters said Monday at the Insurance Accounting & Systems Assn. Inc. Educational Conference and Business Show.
IASA is a Durham, N.C.-based nonprofit association that promotes the use of technology and best practices in insurance.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Peters said with technological and cultural changes buffeting the business world, managers no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to innovation. “The secret to success is not brilliance, it's actually doing stuff,” he said. “Whoever tries the most things the fastest wins.”
Moreover, he said that once a company has decided to undertake an initiative, half measures will not suffice. “These are immoderate times,” said Mr. Peters. “Moderate responses won't do.”
Nonetheless, he stressed the importance of careful execution of corporate initiatives, saying that companies were better off concentrating on the task at hand rather than long-range strategic concerns. “Execution is strategy,” he said. “There are a lot more implementation failures than strategic failures.”
Mr. Peters also urged the managers in attendance to focus on the personnel development of the employees in their charge. He said successful managers should pride themselves on the ability to listen and maintain a positive attitude in meetings. “Meetings are how leaders lead. Get over it.”
Improving cross-functional communication between departments and business units is another key to managerial excellence, he said.