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Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 4, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 594 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061734616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061734618
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (594 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jim Rickards, who is famous, among other things, for his ability to accurately predict the Fed's moves ahead of time. His most recent accurate call was the implementation of Operation Twist, i.e the selling of short-term government debt and the buying of long-term government debt in order to increase short-term interest rates and decrease long-term interest rates.

The main theme of the book is that the world is already heading toward a full-blown currency war which will bring even harsher economic turmoil to the world economy than the one we experienced in the last three years since the housing bubble burst in the U.S.

Rickards explores in depth, basing his arguments on past currency wars such as the one after WW1 between several European countries and the U.S., and why currency wars are a lose-lose situation. In short, Rickards's main argument is that countries around the world are devaluing their currencies in order to boost their exports (domestically produced goods and services will be cheaper for foreigners) thereby increasing their GDP. However, such actions will frequently be met by mutual currency devaluation by other countries or by some protectionist policy such as tariffs. Therefore, countries will gain a temporary advantage until other countries retaliate, the end result of which will be: inflation brought on from currency devaluation, protectionism and the halt of free trade, thus - wealth destruction. And in a worst case scenario, an outright military conflict.

As was mentioned above, I found Rickards's thesis to be well argued and backed with plenty of historical facts. To sum up, this book just has it all, great and engaging writing, fascinating economic history, and shrewd analysis of the current and coming global crisis.
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Format: Hardcover
No one is safe from Rickards' insightful analysis in this original and fast-paced history of world economic and monetary policy and the currency wars that have led to destructive outcomes more than once in the last hundred years. Despite the fact that repeated manipulation of currency by various countries throughout recent history in an attempt to dominate trade and spur domestic economic growth has failed miserably, the U.S. now faces a new currency war that might be, as Rickards says, "the currency war to end all currency wars." His disdain for the use of Quantitative Easing and the creation of a new world central bank is palpable and the urgency with which he makes his argument is cogent and frankly, terrifying. Rickards tells a fascinating story, taking the reader from the use of gold as an international currency in the Sixth century BC up to the current day, seamlessly connecting historical events in a manner that will appeal to experts and novices alike. His reductionist descriptions and gallows humor spares no one, and his analogies are both informative and beautifully written. Currency Wars is a must read for everyone, from classically-trained economists to small-time investors. But beware: after you read this book, instead of stuffing your mattress with cash, you may be inclined to do so with gold bullion.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have the stomach for doing a deep dive into the causes and cures of the worldwide financial morass we're in, here it is! "Currency Wars" takes you on a journey unlike any other. From a firsthand account of the wranglings at a mock "financial war game" in the bowels of the Pentagon, through a rich and literate history of previous currency wars with their devastating outcomes, Rickards is in full command of his topic. The author then brings us right up to present moment where he offers possible endgame scenarios to this latest currency war: paper, gold, or chaos! With outcome uncertain and stakes sky high, the tension is palpable! The final chapter is simply mind blowing! But that's not all. "Currency Wars" isn't simply an economics or history book. Rickards gives us a lot more. Chapter 9 is the most stinging indictment yet of the policy and intellectual failures of the Fed, Keynesianism and Monetarism. When you finish Chapter 9 your faith in economic conventional wisdom will be thoroughly shattered. The author also offers up some of the most original theory and analysis in economics since John Maynard Keynes himself in the 1920's. It's conceptually challenging but well worth the effort.

Unlike the financial meltdown of '08, this time you can say you've been warned. Extremely timely, and yet ahead of its time, "Currency Wars" is a revelation. The Media and politicians are so far behind the curve on this story that once they start giving it some weight it will already be too late to save yourself financially. You must read this book now!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A currency war is a desperate and dark road your government takes you down when they become incapable of spurring domestic growth by any other means. But "stealing" growth from other countries by printing tons of money and cheapening one's own currency comes with an enormous price tag. In the new and complex arena of "geo-politics meets financial warfare," James Rickards is an intellectual tour de force. "Currency Wars" takes us on a whirlwind global tour from Peking to Moscow to Dubai, where governments and even everyday citizens are already hedging themselves against a declining U.S. Dollar. Sadly, most Americans are completely unaware of the dangers surrounding them and are still just hoping for the best. "Currency Wars" gives us a full understanding of the forces and players involved in taking us into this financial firestorm that's about to flashover. Once armed with this book, everyday Americans will also have a fighting chance. Thank you James!
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