Applying the work of Tom Peters to a tourism environment A Passion For Excellence: Tom Peters In their book A Passion for Excellence (subtitled The Leadership Difference) Tom Peters and Nancy Austin set out their four big ideas on how companies can achieve long-term excellence through people. These form the four sections below. Students undertaking this presentation need to explain what Peters and Austin mean by each of these four ideas and to illustrate their discussion by reference to tourism examples either from the book or elsewhere (personal experience perhaps). Each section contains a number of questions. You are not required to answer all or indeed any of them; they are included to help you think about each topic as you work through them. Section 1: Customers In your experience of being a customer of a tourism organisation what things have annoyed you, and perhaps prompted you to go elsewhere? What things have impressed you and have perhaps encouraged you to return or to recommend the service to others? 'Listening is the highest form of courtesy.
The best ideas come from customers'. As a tourism manager what systems might you set up to ensure that customers are listened to? Which tourism organisations have a reputation for being customer service fanatics? How have they achieved that reputation? Is it deserved? Section 2: Innovation As a tourism manager how would you encourage your staff to innovate? What conditions need to exist for a culture of innovation to flourish? Or do you not see this as desirable? What barriers would you anticipate in trying to achieve what Peters calls 'the smell of innovation'? How might you overcome them? Section 3: People How would you encourage your staff to feel as if they 'owned' their job? What procedures might you introduce to indicate that your staff are important and respected? From your own work experience what signs of disrespect have you encountered from the organisation? Section 4: Leadership If you were a tourism manager how would you practice MBA (Managing By Wandering Around)? Is this an effective style of leadership? If not, why not? Finally, and this question is compulsory, what do you think of Peters' arguments. He claims to have discovered how successful organisations have created and sustained their competitive edge by achieving excellence through people. What do you think of these claims? Are there other factors that are played down by Peters that are equally or more important?.