A Summary and Review of Practically Radical by William C. Taylor

This summary and review of the book, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself, was prepared by Meagan Slaven Gill while an Accounting student in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.

Executive Summary

The book, Practically Radical written by William C. Taylor, is a surprising collection of individual stories about change, and his insights into the changes and how the rest of us can apply them.  Taylor set out to discover why and how all types of organizations and businesses created a game-plan to change the company.  He explore 25 companies and found 3 basic sections of change and organized the book around those three ideas.

The first section, titled “Transforming Your Company,” is about making big changes in long established organizations.  Chapters one and two focus on what to look for and where to look for new ideas that will move your company in a new direction.. Taylor points out that new ideas do not have to come from new places; that an organizations history has plenty of inspiration. However, if the company’s past fails to help, looking outside of the industry can shed new light on the problem. Chapter three gives five “truths of corporate transformation.” Taylor says that the goal of the first two chapters was to present a range of settings in which troubled organizations figured out how to learn from past and break from convention , to make creative changes.

The second section, “Shaking up Your Industry” is about entrepreneurs revolutionizing and industry by challenging the standard operating procedures. Chapters four and five look at what it means to be the best at something and why being different is good.  Chapter six gives five rules to start something new.

The third section. “Challenging Yourself” focuses on how you can lead your organization better through humility and ambition, two seemly at-odds things.  Chapters seven and eight details the shortcomings of an all-powerful leader that is ineffective.  This all powerful leader can and should be replaced by someone who understands that he/she cannot do everything and in humility asks for help, but with ambition pushes the company to its best.

The final piece of this book is the Appendix.  Taylor lays out ten thought-provoking questions titled the Practically Radical Primer.  He gives each question and a brief discussion of how to apply the answer and why it is important.

The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from Practically Radical

1. Chapter 1, the virtues of Vu ja De, focuses on looking at the organization through fresh eyes.  In fact, Taylor defines the term as looking at a familiar situation as if you have never seen it before.  Esserman does this by dismantling his department and reorganizing it. Taylor spends a lot out time detailing Esserman’s actions. He describes how Pedigree followed through with some very dog-centered business culture.  He then moves into Hayek’s turn around of Swatch.  However Taylor points out that the organization does not have to be failing to make change, by showing how the Girl Scouts managed to make themselves relevant again.

2. Chapter 2, Big Dots, Pit Stops, and Hot Spots,  shows how where you look shapes what you see.  Taylor talks about the Institute for Health care Improvement, the IHI, and the 100,000 Lives Campaign.  He describes how the Henry Ford Health care System strives to move on of the “big dots” set by IHI.  Taylor highlights  London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. This hospital brought in a Nascar pit crew in evaluate the patient hand off process.  Taylor then moves through another example which leads him to how Lexus was able to create hot spots of customer service and comfort.

3. Chapter 3, Radically Practical I, gives a list of five things that Taylor titles the five truths of corporate transformation.  Number one on the list is tunnel vision. The second is everyone looks in the same places for ideas.  Third, for organizations with rich history, the challenge is to break with the history, but not disregard it.  The fourth “truth” is that a change agent must create a sense of urgency for the organization to act.  Finally number five is that change agents must continue to learn.  Taylor ends the chapter with a quote, “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”

4. Chapter 4, Are you the Most of Anything? Why being Different makes all the difference, begins the second section of the book, and is about starting a new business and changing the entire industry.  Taylor first tells the reader about Zappos, the internet clothing retailer that is focused on customer satisfaction.  He gives an amazing example of the commitment the customer service staff has.  Next Taylor talks about Umpqua Holdings, a new kind of bank.  Umpqua asked its self  ”why should [the customer] choose [them] over the competition?”  Came up with its not good enough to be pretty good any more. The banking industry took a “middle of the road” approach to attract customers. Taylor also looks at 37singal, and Magazine Luiza.

5. Chapter 5, Different on Purpose,  is about how being different should be on purpose.  Taylor explores DaVita, a dialysis company with one third of the market.  DaVita says that it is a community first and a company second.  He also covers how something small can make a big different by show caseing the iron workers building an addition to Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Insitute. Taylor also covers an incentive program by Zappos called “The Offer.”  The findings of the social scientists at Gallup Inc., a polling and research organization was a big point Taylor made. He also covers an essay the the Harvard business Revies Published and the Canadian pharmacy, London Drugs.

6. Chapter 6, Radically Practical II, gives the five new rules for starting something new. The first rule says that is not enough to be pretty good at everything, but to become the most of something.  The second is that being unique does not mean that your organization has to be narrow.  Thirdly, long term success is based on caring more than the competition.  The fourth point Taylor makes is that the organization must engage the customers emotional or eventually they will leave.  Finally he points out that you do not have to be a new company to start something new, you can start something new within an existing company.

7. Chapter 7, Leadership without all the Answers,  covers what it means to lead a company when a single person cannot possibly have all the answers.  Taylor starts out by introducing the reader to Orpehus, the chamber orchestra that performs with out a conductor.  He also explains that IBM created “Innovation Jam” to harness the power of group genius.  The next example Taylor gives is Rite-Solutions and its internal “stock market” called the “Mutual Fun.”

8. Chapter 8, Hidden Genius at Work,  highlights what groups of people can accomplish when they set their minds to a project.  Taylor details the incredible story of the Missing USS Grunion, WWII submarine.  Two different sets of people endeavored to find out what happened to that sub and its crew.  He then describes several companies similar efforts to reward the people who help them. Netflix offered the “Netflix Prize” to anyone who could improve the accuracy of its movie suggestion software by 10%.  John Fluevog allows customers to submit design ideas, and name the item if it is accepted.  Threadless, an internet t-shirt manufacturer, allows its member to submit designs and vote on their favorite ones, and based on the popularity chooses which to produce.

9. Chapter 9, Radically Practical III, lists the five habits of highly Humbitious leaders.  Taylor begins with real genius does not pretend to know everything.  Second, he says that the most creative leaders leverage collective genius to evaluate the ideas they attract.. The next concept is that a good leader must learn to reject ideas with out destroying the person who created them. The fourth thing is that if you want ideas to be shared, you must be willing to share your ideas as well.  The fifth habit Taylor describes, is that humbition can become an organizational way of life.

10. In the Appendix, Taylor gives the Practically Radical Primer, a list of ten questions that are designed to make you look at yourself and your organization critically.  Taylor gives each question followed by an explanation of where it came from and why it is important. The questions are thought provoking and are designed for you to be able to think about how to apply what you have read through out this book to your company.

Full Summary of Practically Radical

  1. Introduction

    1. Taylor introduces the reader to may of the places and industries he studied while writing Practically Radical.  He also explains that this book is meant to give leaders new ideas to help their businesses.  The first section, Transforming Your Company,  is about big, company wide change, that challenges the long held  industry standards.  Section two, Shaking Up Your Industry,  shows how you can establish something new, either with in a large organization, of start something from the ground up. The next section of the book is titled Challenging Yourself, self-explanatory title.  Each section ends with a hands on chapter that sums up and explains how Taylor believes the reader can apply the lessons that he has provided.  The book ends with  a final section titled the Practically Radical Primer, which has ten questions that every aspiring game changer must ask.

  2. Transforming Your Company

    1. Chapter 1: What you See Shapes How you Change -The Virtues of Vuja De

      1. In this chapter, Taylor gives several examples of looking to the past for a way to move toward the future.

      2. The first example is how Colonel Dean Esserman, Chief of police, in Providence, Rhode Island took a failing police system and turned it around.  Esserman’s quote, which opens the chapter, sums up what his goal is, “the model of policing…that’s what we are changing.”

        1. Taylor sets the open scene during a weekly command meeting of Providence Police Department. He explains that a big part of the command meeting is who is in attendance.  A federal prosecutor, social workers and a reverend just to start off with a few.  Tony Gross, Director of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, is a key member at the meeting. Gross and his street workers help the cops of Providence solve the problems before the problems escalate to crime.

        2. Esserman wants to bring back the concept of  the “family cop,” meaning that the police should be a part of the community, not just some guy with a badge and a gun.

      3. Taylor uses the term “Vu ja de;” he says it is the flip side of “De ja vu.” Taylor defines Vuja de as looking at a familiar situation as if you have never seen it before.  He says that, as the leader of manager of the company, “How do you look at your organization and your filed as if you are seeing them for the first time?”  Vuja de is the answer to that question.  It allows the company to “reframe” how it makes sense of  the situation and “build for the future.

      4. The second example Taylor gives is TBWA and its “disruption days” with Pedigree dog food company, a part of the Mars corporation.TBWA is a marketing firm and was hired in 2004 to revitalize Pedigree. TBWA hosts “Disruption days” over a series of meeting with the company to uncover the original virtues that were once a driving factor of a company and bring the company back to those things.

        1. Suzanne Powers, from TBWA, said that Pedigree had become a manufacturing company, and had lost the “soul” and vision of a company that loves dogs.

        2. After the disruption days, the Mars CEO, Paul Michaels, developed issued a statement of beliefs called “Dogma” to remind Pedigree why it exists, how it should behave, and many other dog-centered ideas. Soon after, Pedigree began an internal dog-centered revolution. It incorporated dogs into almost every part of the company that it could, in an effort to change its culture.  And it worked.

        3. Only after the dog-oriented culture began to take hold inside Pedigree. did it take the message to the customers.  Pedigree changed how it marketed to the customers.

      5. Taylor returns to the discussion of Esserman and the Provience PD.  When Esserman took over the department, he tried to inspire the staff by telling them that he wanted them to not stop thinking about the job, to be at work before they needed to be because they can’t wait to get there, and several other things.One unmistakable message he gave was, “If it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and its raining and there’s a shooting, I’m coming. So you better be there already, and you had better be wet.”

        1. Esserman is said to “drive the old guard crazy.”

        2. Soon after arriving, Esserman dismantled the department and reassembled it into 9 free-standing districts.  No one could tell him why the old system was the way it was. Each district had a “mini-Chief,” and Esserman gave them no public funds to establish a district head quarters with.  These mini-chiefs had to be come up with funding themselves.

        3. Esserman also created “cops & docs,” where cops would sit in on medical discussions of tough cases, and the Brown University Medical school would send students to sit in on command meetings.

          1. In 2008, he took the idea further, modeling the department after teaching hospitals.Esserman wanted to be a place “that embraces research, that figures out and spreads methodologies that work in the ways medical schools do. …Think of what it would mean to create that sort of institute and those types of values in a police department.”

        4. However much Esserman has changed the department, he celebrates the history of the Providence PD every chance he gets.

        5. Esserman keeps ” a thick notebook of good ideas and quotes … from criminologists, social scientists, and fellow chiefs.”

        6. Esserman wants to “go beyond 911,” to be apart of the community.  Esserman and every cop in the department has business cards with his/her picture, the department phone number and a 24/7 cell phone number on it.  The officers are encourage shop owners to display the cards publicly, and for any one to call them if they need help.  Esserman recalls being at a rime scene on night and realizing that cell phones were ringing.  The people were calling the officers at the scene to tell them what had happened!

        7. Taylor believes that Esserman’s legacy as a change agent is secure.

      6. The next example Taylor gives is about Nicolas Hayek and Swatch.  He says that leaders focus too much on what is wrong with the organization, and that they undervalue what is right.  Taylor quotes President Clinton and says that this applies to business as well. Clinton said, “There is nothing wrong with America, that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

        1. Hayek turned around the failing Swiss watch industry in just ten years and had brought it back to the top of the market in 20.  Hayek is a deeply conservative leader who looked to the 450 year tradition as a source of strength.

          1. The ride and fall of Omega, one brand that Swatch offers.  When Hayek took over, Omega had over 2,000 different models.  No one knew what Omega stood for.  He cut the number of models to 130 and returned the brand to its roots.  In 2008, It was one of the most valuable watch brands in the world,  Hayek “gave Omega its message back.”

          2. But Hayek’s plan also applies to the entire company, not just Omega.  He rejected the conventional global competition rules of seeking low-cost production, outsourcing, and niche marketing.

            1. The bulk of the factories are near the Jura Mountains in Switzerland.  Swatch is “a vertically Integrated fortress.”  Its 19 brands cover all geographic markets and every price point.

            2. Why did it work?  Hayek imposed enormous pressure for breakthroughs in design, manufacturing, and overall performance.

        2. While Hayek made the newspapers, no one is copying his methods.

      7. Esserman and Hayek saved organizations and the brink of disaster. This leads to the obvious question: does meaningful transformation require a dance with death:?

        1. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, from IBM says a near-death experience clears your head and allows you to see new ideas.

        2. The Girl Scouts of America say reject the idea.

    2. Chapter 2: Where you Look Shapes what you see – Of Big Dots, Pit Stops and Hot Spots

      1. The first organization Taylor mentions in this chapter is the Institute of Health care Improvement, or IHI, whose goal is to “move the dots” by focusing on quality.  The organization turned to the women’s movement for speed.  In 2004, IHI launched the “100,000 Lives Campaign.” An 18-month campaign the hospitals would volunteer to participate in by adopting 6 Interventions that would in total prevent 100,000 needless deaths.

      2. London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children studied Ferrari’s Formula One racing team, specifically the pit crew, for ways of improving the patient hand-off process.  The Pit crew toured the facility and was amazed at how clumsy the process was and ho noisy the hospital was in general. After the visit, the Hospital redesigned the process and was able to greatly reduce medical errors.  Taylor gies this example to show that looking in unfamiliar fields for new ideas can work.

      3. Ron Noble, the Secretary General of Interpol, had a big job a head of him when he was brought. what he found inside the organization was years behind any other police force in the world,  One of Interpol’s main responsibilities is issuing “red notices,” an international wanted-person notice.  Before Noble arrived, it took three to six months to issue a single notice.  Noble also discover that the head quarters was only opne during business hours, 8am – 6pm Monday through Friday.  Noble created and implemented the agency’s Command and Coordination Center.  He also increased the efficiency of the red notice processing.  It now takes less then 72 hours to issue a red notice.  This has lead to more notices being issued and more arrests.

        1. Noble transformed Interpol from paper-pushers to an international police department, and to become a functioning department, Interpol had to become relevant; had to innovate.

        2. Noble asked himself what services are relevant to every law enforcement officer in the world?  Interpol had little history to help answer the question so he looked outside the organization for clues.  Noble model the first lost or stolen travel document database after Google’s search engine.

        3. Noble says, “It’s not easy, but we’re going to get there. We’re going to change the world.”

      4. The CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC), a 90 years old hospital in Seattle, Looked to Toyota’s Just-in-Time (JIT) production technique, continuous improvement, and front line employee problem solving to find that spark of inspiration to help improve the hospital. The entire leadership team of the hospital took what has become an almost annual trip to Japan for the first time in 2002.  Two defining things are essential to the trip: a trip to the museum where the doctors are required to carry a sketch book; and several days working full shifts in a Toyota factory, staffing the lines, doing the work.

        1. VMMC’s exposure to Japanese quality control was a big piece of the hospital finding some imagination and transferring methodologies.

      5. From there Taylor goes into how Toyota launched Lexus, a game-changing entrant to the luxury automobile market in North America.  In 2005 Lexus sent dealers and general managers to train at the 4 Seasons Hotel, they found that the little touches add up to a big impression.  Lexus also copies Apple’s Genius Bar, creating the Answer Bar, where Lexus can help its customers with any questions they might have.

      6. The Henry Ford Health System, Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan,  turned around its existing hospitals with simple things like paint and new wheelchairs.  In 2009, the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital opened, and everything about this hospital will challenge what you think about hospitals, starting with the CEO who was previous with the Ritz Carlton.With in just a few years, the hospital has a patient satisfaction score in the 99th percentile

    3. Chapter 3: Radically Practical (I) – Five Truths of Corporate Transformation: Taylor’s goal in the first two chapters was to present a range of settings in which troubled organizations figured out how to learn from the past, and break from convention, to make creative changes. The following list is a direct quote of the five truths.

      1. Most organizations in most field suffer from a kind of tunnel vision, which makes it hard to envision a more positive future.

      2. Most leaders see things the same way everyone else sees them because they look for ideas in the same places everyone else looks for them.

      3. In troubled organizations rich with tradition and success, history can be a curse — and a blessing.  The challenge is to break from the past without disavowing it.

      4. The job of the change agent is not just to surface high-minded ideas. It is to summon a sense of urgency inside and out of the organization, and turn that urgency into action.

      5. In a business environment that never stops changing, change agents can never stop learning.

  3. Taylor ends the chapter with this quote, “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”
  4. Shaking Up Your Industry

    1. Chapter 4: Are You the Most of Anything?  Why Being Different Makes All the Difference

      1. Zappos, the Internet shoe store that I had never heard of before, because they do not advertise like other businesses; in fact, it survives based on word of mouth.

      2. Ray Davis CEO Umpqua Holdings

      3. 37signals

      4. Compares business and the 4-minute mile

      5. Magazine Luiza

      6. MGM Grand in Las Vegas

    2. Chapter 5: Different on Purpose – Motivation, Inspiration, and the Heart of Innovation

      1. DaVita — 1/3 of the dialysis market

      2. iron workers building the addition to boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

      3. Geek Squad — the 6-point pledge

      4. Zappos and the offer

      5. Harvard buisness Review published “Companies and the Customers who hate them” by Gail McGovern and YOungme Moon

      6. Life Time Fitness

      7. Social Scientisits at Gallup Inc.

      8. London Drugs

    3. Chapter 6: Radically Practical (II) – Five New rules for Starting Something New

      1. It’s not good enough to be “Pretty good” at everything. Blank-sheet-of-paper innovators figure out how to become the most of something.

      2. Just because you’re “the most of something” doesn’t mean you can’t do lots of different things. Being unique is not about being narrow.

      3. Long-term success is about more than thinking harder then the competition. It’s also about caring more then the competition.

      4. In a world of endless choice, companies must engage customers emotionally, not just satisfy them rationally. Remember, if your customers can lie without you, eventually they will.

      5. Starting something new doesn’t always mean starting a new company. You don’t need to be a blank-sheet-of-paper entrepreneur to embrace a blank-sheet-of-paper mind-set.

  5. Challenging Yourself

    1. Chapter 7: Leadership Without All the Answers – Ambition, Humbition, and the Power of Hidden Genius

      1. Orpheus — the orchestra without a conductor

      2. humbition — the blend of humility and ambition that drives the most successful business people

      3. Hidden genius; out think the competition

      4. IBM and the Innovation Jam –brought together lots of people from various places to generate ideas for the business

      5. Rite-Solutions from Rhode Island

    2. Chapter 8:  Hidden Genius at Work – From Shared Minds to Helping Hands

      1. Story of the USS Grunion –the sons of the captain find the submarine and alert the other 69 families that the mystery of the USS Grunion was solved

      2. Netflix and the Netflix Prize —  put a challenge to the world: $1 million to the person or team that could improve the movie selector program by 10%

      3. John Fluevog –designer –allows customers to submit shoe designs and if a design is selected the originator gets to name the shoe

      4. Threadless — t-shirt manufacturer who has members submit design ideas and vote on thier favorites.

    3. Chapter 9:  Radically Practical (III) – Five Habits of Highly Humbitious Leaders

      1. Real business geniuses don’t pretend to know everything.

      2. The most creative leaders don’t just tap the power of hidden genius to attract new ideas. They leverage the virtues of collective genius to evaluate the ideas they attract.

      3. Not all new ideas are good ideas. So leaders who ask for lots of ideas have to be good a rejecting the bad ones without demoralizing the people who contributed them.

      4. Leaders who are eager for outsiders to share ideas with them have to be eager to share their ideas with outsiders.

      5. Humbition can be more than an individual style of leadership. It can be an organizational way of life.

  6. Appendix: The Practically Radical Primer –Ten Questions Every Game Changer Must Answer

    1. Do you see opportunities the competition doesn’t see?

    2. Do you have new ideas about where to look for new ideas?

    3. Are you the most of anything?

    4. If your company went out of business tomorrow, who miss you and why?

    5. Have you figured out how your organization’s history can help to shape its future?

    6. Do you have customers who can’t live without you?

    7. Do your people care more than the competition?

    8. Are you getting the best contributions from the most people?

    9. Are you consistent in your commitment to change?

    10. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

The Video Lounge

Interview with Author


The Business Innovation Factory hosted this interview with William Taylor in early 2011.  He talked for about 30 minutes.  Taylor covered several specific examples from the book, and a few key points without giving away everything the book has to offer.

Personal Insights

Why I think:

  • The author is one of the most brilliant people around, because:  Taylor was able to gain access to 25 organizations that made big changes.  He started “Fast Company” in the early 1990’s based on how companies need to make changes.  Fast Company and Practically Radical highlight how Taylor is a person who can make change happen, and see how others create change.  He wrote Practically Radical to give the rest of the world a glimpse of how the few manage amazing changes, and show us how we can apply the lessons.

  • If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:

1. Several times through out the book, Taylor  would start talking about one organization and then move on to another, but would later return to original organization.  I found the book difficult to summarize because of this, and would have tried to not go back over a company that I had already moved away from discussing.

2. I would have arranged the book a little bit differently.  The three sections are based on size, the industry, and individual company, and the personal level.  I would have put them in that order.  Or I would have organized the book into categories of businesses. Taylor covered 25 organizations, some very extensively and others only briefly.

3. In the introduction, Taylor says that the book is written like three books in one.  There is so much information in each section of the book, perhaps this single book should have been broken down into a three book set.  Again, I believe that the book would have been much easier to follow and easier to effectively summarize.

  • Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:

1. Before reading this book, I was rather pessimistic about the industry I have chosen.  I had been told that there were only so many options available, and that I would be limited because my GPA wasn’t “where it should be.”  After reading the Practically Radical, I believe that just because some professor says that is that way it is, does not mean that I have to give up and settle for the secretary position.  I can fight to be seen and heard.  Yes, it may be difficult to get prospective employers to see me through the crowd of seemingly better qualified graduates, but I will not give up.  I can change the way the industry sees the B or C- average student.

2. Starting a business is a lot of work and time and effort.  It also carries some big risks.  However, by starting the company yourself, you can revolutionize the way the industry views you.  You choose who to hire, who does the work, how the work is done, and how you treat customers. With just a few tweaks to the widely accepted way of doing business, your business can prove to the competitors that there is a better way of doing business.

3. Without urgency, nothing would ever get done.  This is especially true in business.  If the business is floating along on previous successes, and headed toward a cliff, but no one sees the cliff, then that company has a big problem. After reading this book, I understand better that without urgency, nothing will ever change.  No change is called stagnation, and that has been the death of many once great companies.

  • I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:

1. I understand what it means to be the Accounting student that can’t even get a call back after the only interview I could get; all because my GPA isn’t “where it should be.”  I want to change how firms view students like me.  I am not stupid; I passed all the classes, but I have been in college for six years and changed my major twice.   To me graduating and passing the CPA exam is enough to be good enough to know what I am doing, because there are too many stories of 4.0 students failing the CPA exam. I want to create or acquire a business in which I can change how the industry sees students who are “not good enough.”

2. I am sure that once I establish the kind of company that I described above, that there will be problems and set backs.  I will look outside the accounting world to find answers to those problems.  Why limit myself to what other accountants think when there is an entire world of people out there willing to give their opinions.

3. I understand what it means to not be the best at everything.  I want a career, but I also want a family.  I can have both, but it will be a life-long challenge to balance the two.  So I have to be humble enough to ask for and accept help, yet be ambitious enough to go fight for what I want.

  • Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:

William Taylor has shown himself to be someone to follow since the early 1990’s and the founding of Fast Company.  Practically Radical was released in January of 2011, and generated some noise for Taylor, but I could not find any articles dated after October 2011.  So while it rose quickly, it fell from popularity just as quickly.

Most reviews raved about Taylor and his ability to give the case studies a new perspective by story telling. Chris Bond with the Murphy Business Blog writes “If you are a fan of miniaturized case studies presented several times in different ways (um, some among us need to hear things a few times!), you can’t go wrong with Taylor’s book.”  Mathew May with Open Forum says the key takeaway for the book is the three lists of truths, rules, and habits.  Carol Herman with the Washington Times writes about how eye-opening Taylor’s book is.

Only David Hurst with Strategy+Business openly criticizes the book’s content.  He says that the rules “seem vague and aspirational.”  He also mentions Taylor’s use of Zappos as an example.  Hurst remarks snidely, “just how broadly can one apply lessons from a cult like online shoe and clothing retailer?”  He ends his article with a suggestion; saying that the book “would have benefited from a better conceptual framework.”


About bill. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://williamctaylor.com/about-bill/

Bond, C. (04, October 2011). Chris bond’s review of “practically radical”. Retrieved from http://www.businessbrokers-newengland.com/Blog/bid/64622/Chris-Bond-s-Review-of-Practically-Radical

Herman, C. (February, 28 2011). Book review: How to grow your business. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/28/how-to-grow-your-business/

Hurst, D. (24, May 2011). New views of management. Retrieved from www.strategy-business.com/article/11211b?gko=4c868

May, M. (01, February 2011). Guru review tuesday: Practically radical. Retrieved from https://www.openforum.com/articles/guru-review-tuesday-practically-radical-1/  

Taylor, W. (2011). Practically radical: Not-so-crazy ways to transform your company, shake up your industry, and challenge yourself. Harper Collins e-books.


Contact Info

To contact the author of this article, “A Summary and Review of Practically Radical by William C. Taylor,” please email Meagan.Slaven@selu.edu or mslavengill@gmail.com .


About the Publisher

David C. Wyld (dwyld@selu.edu) is the Laborde Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (http://reverseauctionresearch.org), a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. His blog, Career News 24/7, can be viewed at http://wyld-about-careers.blogspot.com/.

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