How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways
As the visionary, co-founding editor of Fast Company, William C. Taylor has motivated a generation of executives and entrepreneurs to think differently about leading change in every industry. In his latest bestseller Simply Brilliant, he unlocks the trade secrets of 15 unique organizations to show how radical creativity isn’t just for daring startups or Silicon Valley—it belongs to everyone.
William C. Taylor is an award-winning writer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Fast Company, which quickly became one of the most influential voices in business and innovation. In just six years, Taylor helped leverage a magazine that started in a borrowed office space in Harvard Square into a $340 million sale. An insatiable investigator of the best business minds on the planet, Taylor also created the “Under New Management” column for The New York Times and frequently publishes essays and CEO interviews in the Harvard Business Review.
“Taylor captures the enthusiasm and conviction of managers and leaders who find their own glamour, and somehow makes it contagious.”— Forbes
Author of three best-selling books, Taylor’s latest is Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways (2016), which offers a set of messages and a collection of case studies about how to unleash breakthrough creativity and cutting-edge performance in even the most competitive, hard-to-change fields. Wharton professor Adam Grant called it “a fascinating look inside companies that are rewriting rules of success.” His earlier book Practically Radical was a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and his first, Mavericks at Work, was a New York Times bestseller and was named a “Business Book of the Year” by The Economist and the Financial Times. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the MIT Sloan School of Management.
“Bill Taylor’s presentation was excellent! I was sitting next to one of our senior officers who was VERY impressed with his message. I got a lot of positive feedback from the attendees on his presentation. He was a pleasure to work with.”LIMRA
“Bill Taylor’s attention-getting, audience-grabbing style and message really worked with our team. He was enjoyed by the entire audience.”Philips Healthcare
“Bill Taylor was outstanding. He was an entertaining storyteller who did a great job of connecting the dots between our business and his knowledge of client experience and innovation.”Shook, Hardy and Bacon
“Bill Taylor knocked it out of the park! He had a great style and delivery, and the message was bang-on what we were looking for. He also did the best job I've ever seen of tying his message back to comments and examples from internal speakers that spoke before him. We really enjoyed having him.”General Mills
“Bill Taylor did a fantastic job. He inspired us and made us think.”Panera Bread
“The standing room only crowd was a testament to both Bill Taylor’s content and style and the incredible interest our participants had in his material.”Jewish Federations of North America
In an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the most urgent work for organizations everywhere is the work of making meaningful, deep-seated change. When customers have higher expectations than ever, digital technologies and new business models create more choices than ever, determined rivals are more numerous than ever, then familiar strategies and established ways of working are less effective than ever. That means even the most successful companies have to rethink and reimagine every aspect of how they do business and deliver results. But how do you break new ground when there is so much pressure to avoid mistakes? How do you keep people focused and confident in a world that seems so uncertain? In short, how do you unleash long-lasting, positive change in turbulent, fast-moving times?
In a world being remade before our eyes, leaders who make a difference are the ones who can reimagine what’s possible at their organization and in their field, and who can turn bold strategies into relentless execution. And they’re not just CEOs; they’re executives running business units, managers in charge of key departments, engineers or marketers running project teams, entrepreneurs building a company from scratch. Regardless of their formal role or title in the organization, high-impact leaders exude both originality and utility—provocative thinking that energizes their colleagues, a roll-up-the-sleeves approach to work and culture that shapes how everyone shares ideas and solves problems. Put simply, the best leaders are the most insatiable learners and the most effective communicators. In this keynote, Bill Taylor offers hands-on thinking gleaned from the most extraordinary leaders he’s studied over the last 25 years.
There has never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur, whether it’s building a company from a blank sheet of paper, launching or investing in a franchise, or starting something new inside an established organization. In the old world of business, the strong took from the weak. If you had the deepest pockets, the biggest factories or labs, the best-known brands, you won by virtue of your power. In the new world of business, the smart take from the strong. The most successful entrepreneurs don’t try to out-compete their bigger rivals; they redefine the terms of competition by embracing one-of-a-kind ideas in a world filled with me-too thinking. Thanks to the revolutions in computing, communications, and social media, along with an explosion of new business models and new sources of financing, smaller and smaller groups of people can do bigger and bigger things. In this keynote targeted to entrepreneurs, small-business leaders, and franchise owners and operators, Bill Taylor offers lessons from some of the world’s most successful company-builders.