Practically Radical Book Summary - Practically Radical Book explained in key points
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Practically Radical summary

William C. Taylor

Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry and Challenge Yourself

4.4 (50 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Practically Radical by William C. Taylor is a management book that challenges conventional thinking and inspires a culture of innovation. It offers real-world examples and practical tools to drive transformative change.

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    Practically Radical
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    Redefine the terrain of the competition, rather than trying to outcompete your rivals.

    The world moves fast these days. Even well-established companies can wake up to find that they’ve been outrun by their competitors.

    Therefore, your best bet is often to get out of the rat race and focus your energies elsewhere. The most effective thing you can do is try to set yourself apart from the crowd.

    Take the advertising agency TBWA: in 2004, the dog food company Pedigree commissioned them to develop a new marketing strategy. Pedigree was in a sticky situation – it was being squeezed by high-end, health-focused brands on one side and low-price competition on the other.

    TBWA decided to redefine the rules of the game. Its advice to Pedigree? Stop marketing yourself as a dog food company and position yourself as a brand that simply cares about dogs.

    Employees were encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to work and even given health insurance plans for their pooches. Meanwhile, Pedigree started running ads for dog adoption.

    The product itself didn’t change at all, but the company’s image was transformed into a brand that stood for something more than just dog food. The fresh way of looking at things also gave Pedigree a new sense of purpose.

    Those in the know call this the rule of vuja dé – the opposite of déjà vu. It’s the sense of having already experienced something and finding a new way of looking at something familiar.

    Established companies have another resource up their sleeve when the going gets tough: their past successes.

    Nicolas Hayek, the CEO of the Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking in the 1970s, showed how effective that could be.

    The Swiss watch industry was in crisis when he took up his position. Cheap East Asian watches had flooded the market. But instead of joining the race to the bottom, Hayek used the industry’s illustrious past to renew its identity.

    Storied watch brands owned by the company, like Omega, were rebranded as “watches for people who achieve” – a canny way of targeting high-earners willing to pay top dollar for a product rooted in tradition.

    The corporation’s cheaper watches were also given a makeover. In 1983, it launched Swatch – a brand specializing in less expensive timepieces made in Switzerland, rather than in countries with cheaper labor.

    Harnessing Switzerland’s association with its long history of watchmaking was a smart strategy – by 2008, Hayek’s corporation was the undisputed leader in its field.

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    What is Practically Radical about?

    Practically Radical (2011) is a strategic guide to navigating today’s fast-moving world of business for leaders keen to set themselves apart from the crowd. Full of clever tips and insights from today’s most innovative companies, it argues for the need to rethink tried and tested methods and learn to think outside the box.

    Practically Radical Review

    Practically Radical (2011) by William C. Taylor is a thought-provoking book that challenges the status quo and encourages readers to embrace innovation and change. Here's why this book is definitely worth your time:

    • With its real-world examples and case studies, the book offers invaluable insights into how organizations can succeed by thinking differently.
    • The author's deep understanding of business dynamics and practical strategies make this book a valuable resource for leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.
    • Through its engaging storytelling, Practically Radical takes readers on a journey that is both enlightening and inspiring, making it far from a boring read.

    Best quote from Practically Radical

    You cant do big things if you are content with doing things a little bit better than everyone else.

    —William C. Taylor
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    Who should read Practically Radical?

    • CEOs and leaders
    • Entrepreneurs and innovators
    • Anyone looking to boost their business

    About the Author

    William C. Taylor is an influential writer, public speaker and business expert. He co-founded the monthly business magazine Fast Company. Taylor has written several acclaimed books on company strategy including Simply Brilliant (2016) and is the co-author of Mavericks at Work (2006).

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    Practically Radical FAQs 

    What is the main message of Practically Radical?

    The main message of Practically Radical is that organizations must embrace change and innovation to succeed in today's fast-paced world.

    How long does it take to read Practically Radical?

    The reading time for Practically Radical varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Practically Radical a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Practically Radical is worth reading as it provides practical insights and actionable strategies to drive organizational change and achieve breakthrough results.

    Who is the author of Practically Radical?

    The author of Practically Radical is William C. Taylor.

    What to read after Practically Radical?

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