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Bill Taylor    

Co-Founder & Founding Editor of Fast Company; Author of "Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways"

Bill Taylor is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who chronicles the best ways to compete, innovate, and succeed. As cofounder and founding editor of Fast Company, Bill launched a magazine that won countless awards, earned a passionate following among executives and entrepreneurs around the world, and became a legendary business success. More than two decades after its founding, Fast Company continues to shape the global conversation about business.

Since starting Fast Company, Bill has also written three books on leadership and change. His most recent book, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, was named “Best Strategy and Leadership Book of 2016” by 800CEOREAD. His previous book, Practically Radical, was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. His first book, 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.

Bill created the “Under New Management” column for The New York Times and has published numerous essays and CEO interviews in the Harvard Business Review. He now blogs regularly for HBR.

A graduate of Princeton University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, Bill lives outside of Boston with his wife and two daughters.

Speech Topics


Practically Radical: Transforming Your Company and Challenging Yourself

We are living through the age of disruption. You cant do big things anymore if you are content with doing things a little better than everybody else or a little different from how you did them in the past. In an era of hyper-competition and nonstop reinvention, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special. Originality has become the acid test of strategy.

In any field, winning organizations dont just offer competent products and services. They stand for important ideasideas that shape the competitive landscape of their industry and ideas that reshape the sense of whats possible for customers, employees, and investors.

Over the past two years, Bill Taylor has had in-depth access to 25 organizations that are masters at making changeorganizations that are unleashing innovations and driving transformations. Using lessons set in a variety of fields (from health care to software, from automobiles to financial services, from hotels to hospitals) Bill shows his audience how to shake up their industry, transform their company and recharge themselves.

Tough Problems, New Remedies: A Practically Radical Prescription for Health Care

Now that health-care reform is the law of the land, leaders in the field will accelerate the transition from debating the merits of legislation to devising the future of their organizationsin an environment reshaped by public policy and private pressures. In this health-care-oriented keynote, Bill Taylor offers an agenda for progress and change drawn from a wide range of health-care innovators as well as innovators from other industries.

Business as if People Mattered: A Practically Radical Approach to HR

The best companies are as rigorous and creative about hiring enthusiastic staff members as they are about every other element of their business. If you believe that companies compete on the power of their ideas, then you must also believe that they compete on the quality and passion of their people. Bill Taylors presentation brings a hard edge to a notoriously soft topic.

From Selling Value to Sharing Values: A Practically Radical Agenda for Marketing

There is a paradox at the heart of the relationship between companies and customers. Products get cheaper and better, yet customers get less satisfied. Thats because when almost everything gets cheaper every year, offering customers a good deal wont win them over or keep them happy. Success today is about so much more than just price, performance and qualitypure economic value. It is about emotion, passion, identitysharing your values.

Obviously we all have to work on making our products and services more functional, more reliable and more affordable. But ultimately, the real separation in business is making our people and organizations more memorable to encounter. The key challenge for companies is to develop an emotional and psychological connection with their customers that separates them from everybody else.

In this presentation, Bill Taylor offers lessons from innovators who maintain enduring connections with their customers.

THE HARD WORK OF BIG CHANGE: Transforming Your Organization and Challenging Yourself

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?

LEADERSHIP IN AN AGE OF DISRUPTION: Don’t Let What You Know Limit What You Can Imagine

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.

NEW RULES FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Succeeding in a World Where the Smart Take from the Strong

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.

TALENT, CULTURE, AND THE NEW WORLD OF WORK: How to Unleash and Sustain Fierce Execution and Nonstop Innovation

Business today is about distinctive competitive strategies, game-changing technologies, and creative social media and marketing. But the most successful organizations, those built on fierce execution and nonstop innovation, work as distinctively as they compete. The first question great organizations can answer is: What separates us from our rivals in the marketplace? But the next question is: What holds us together as colleagues in the workplace? In an era of brash ideas and disruptive business models, organizations that create the most extraordinary value are the ones that generate the most widely shared sense of commitment, connection, and compassion among colleagues. Whether you’re in a fast-moving technology field or a more traditional, slow-to-change industry, your organization can’t be exceptional in the marketplace unless it creates something exceptional in the workplace. In this strategic and deeply human talk, Bill Taylor draws on his access to some of the world’s most high-performing and creative workplaces to explore how organizations can unleash and sustain a culture of fierce execution and nonstop innovation. His ideas, lessons, diagnostics, and case studies are a pragmatic guide and cutting-edge agenda for recruiting, evaluating, organizing, and retaining talent.

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