Dec 19, 2003

Cappuccino: Deloitte e-zine for Change & Learning had an interview with Tom Peters and this is what Peters said:

Have you read this book, cited in my book, by Howard Rheingold called Smart Mobs? It talks about this amazing phenomenon, about how these multi-organizations do their thing at the WTO meeting in Seattle or IMF meeting in Washington and so on . . . . That's a longwinded way of saying that I could buy the e-Learning model if it was democratic, blog-gy, community-ish, as opposed to top-down, dictatorial, "this is an efficient way to do training." If (online learning) is an incredibly interesting way to get a conversation started among 200 or 2000 people at Deloitte or at GE or whatever, then I love the idea. But if there's a hall monitor, or an overly irascible sys-op, as they used to say, then I worry

The whole damn point of the Web and of new technology is spontaneous learning and gathering and community events. The current issue of Wired talks about how corporations may be killed off, literally, by new methods of spontaneous innovation.

I really believe — and this is not an excuse for illegalities that occurred — that we're going through a very strange period where value is being redefined. Value is brands — Harley-Davidson doing this, IBM becoming IBM Global Services and so on. Value is getting more and more ephemeral. It used to be if you were a Deloitte audit partner all you had to do was count the damn smokestacks and multiply it by the current price of iron per pound . . . and now the value of the enterprise is, "do we really believe Bill Gates will live to be 100?" It's all ethereal. Part of this problem, which is not to excuse evil-doing, is that the nature of economic value is being fundamentally transformed in the direction of things that are ephemeral.

But I am basically, without wearing rose-colored glasses, a globalist. I think that the entire world will be safer and better if the Indians and Chinese are more wealthy than they are today, and if someone could figure out how to inject the entrepreneurial business gene into our Islamic brothers, if they could get the chip off their shoulder — and I don't mean that in a denigrating way relative to their religion... When people have more food in their bellies, they tend to be a little bit less rebellious, and that's the nature of the human being. I'm hardly anti-American, but I'm very pro Chinese and very pro Indian. Rich Indians and Chinese will provide your children's security. Instead of having two-thirds of the world being poor, having two-thirds of the world being rich is better than any nuclear weapons that could be invented.