This post, written by Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of the bestselling book Simply Brilliant, is adapted from an essay that first appeared in Harvard Business Review. It was published on December 18th, 2017. The leadership quiz at the end of the article achieved unprecedented interest from HBR readers.
It was exactly two years ago today that my most recent book made its publishing debut, so Happy Birthday to Simply Brilliant! (Today is also my wife’s birthday, but in the interest of marital harmony and self-preservation I will not be releasing a number.) I thought it might be helpful to use the occasion of this Simply Brilliant birthday to highlight five things I’ve learned and re-learned over the last two years—lessons on strategy, innovation, and leadership that I believe will allow you, your team, and your organization to thrive in a world where ordinary is not an option. So here goes…
The end of the year is always a time of reflection – and appropriately, I’ve been thinking… Thinking about the mess that so many business leaders have made of their companies—from the slow-motion withering of General Electric, the management darling of the Industrial Economy, to the overnight implosion of WeWork, the once-celebrated icon of the New Economy. How did so many smart people do so many stupid things?
BILL TAYLOR is the co-founder of Fast Company and the author, most recently, of Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways. To access a free chapter of Simply Brilliant, please click here. Bill is also a top business speaker managed by the D'Amelio Network. Tony D'Amelio asked Bill to update his popular essay on this topic which originally appeared online in Harvard Business Review. We hope you enjoy it. ----------------------------------------------------------- What's wrong with making analogies between sports and business? Here in the United States, and truth be told, in most place around the world, we are crazy about sports, especially team sports…The Super Bowl…The NCAA Final Four…The World Cup. But the buzz around sports, at least among business executives who are fans of the competitors on the field as well as competitors themselves in their own industries, is often about more than just the game. Does the consistent excellence of a football team like the New England Patriots offer insights on teamwork that transcend the gridiron? Does the game-changing impact of basketball superstars such as LeBron James offer lessons about the value of high-powered talent on Wall Street or Silicon Valley?