From Publishers Weekly
As the business world becomes increasingly competitive, global, and adoptive of new technologies, companies worldwide are constantly searching for answers about how to best evolve to meet their customers™ needs and to stay abreast of their competitors. Taylor (Mavericks at Work) asserts that change is the name of the game; he takes us on an inside look at 25 companies that have grown ever more adaptive to not merely survive but thrive in today™s challenging environment. Taylor™s book is intended to guide leaders in launching fresh initiatives and rethinking œthe logic of leadership itself as they work to rally their colleagues around an agenda for renewal. The work achieves its promise with actionable prescriptions and meaningful examples, such as how organizations like the Girl Scouts have redefined their brand and revitalized their mission, how Zappos has reimagined retail and service, and why, like IBM, leaders must constantly challenge the status quo by examining the self-reflection and commitment to innovation. An engaging and briskly written read, this will captivate and benefit business people interested in change and innovation. (Feb.)
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In the depths of the Great Depression, economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, evoking a basic animal instinct within us to do something productive and procreative, even in the face of hard times. Taylor, a former Harvard Business Review editor and cofounder of Fast Company, a full-color business magazine, begins this discussion on creative solutions for tough economic times by reviewing the pioneering companies that got their start during recessionary environments: Federal Express, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments, among others. The radical solutions he proposes may be as simple as bucking the trend. Case in point, online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos.com, which has developed an almost cultlike customer loyalty by encouraging buyers to call in to their 24/7 phone line and offering a full one-year return policy. Taylor profiles 25 companies and organizations from the Providence, Rhode Island, police to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to illustrate how radical thinking can transform companies and excite management and staff to tap into their group genius. --David Siegfried