Practical Radicality: Bill Taylor inspires change

Through the wondrous connections of the Twitterverse, I got a free pass for the g5Leadership webinar with William Taylor. Bill is the author of “Practically Radical,” which I have not yet read. This webinar was one of the rare ones that totally exceeded my expectations, and provided great stories, quotes, and ideas that I am already sharing with others.

A few of the points that stood out in my notes:

1) Bill Taylor commented on the familiar focus of “what keeps the CEO up at night?” Instead, Bill suggests that we ask ourselves “what gets you up in the morning?” The focus clearly shifting to our passion, and commitment.

2) We’ve all heard about “elevator speeches” – what you would say to the boss or significant leader, if you only had a couple of minutes with them on a short elevator ride. Again, Taylor twists this for improvement. He suggests we ask “what is our team’s sentence?” Our “company’s sentence?” Finally, “what is YOUR sentence?”

3) I am already looking up info on the wonderful story Bill tells, about the Umpqua Bank in the Northwest. Their breakthrough insights about “how can we appeal to all five senses of our customers” is a great story about being different – and better – than the rest. I’ve seen tellers trained as baristas before (ING bankcafe in Philly), but the notions of a bank with a record label for local bands, and each branch as gallery for local artists, were great innovative ideas.

4) Bill had a great twist on another familiar phrase: instead of “deja vu” (the feeling we have been there or seen it before), he offers the clever “vuja de” – by which he means “look at the familiar as if you’ve never seen it before.” Maybe the great Yogi Berra will come up for a wordplay on this one.

5) My local hospital, Robert Wood Johnson at Hamilton, is itself a Baldrige Award-winner, that breaks the mold on traditional hospital experience. Bill Taylor told the story of what I’d call “beyond RWJ.” The Henry Ford Health System also used innovation and “new eyes” when they hired a former executive of the Ritz-Carlton chain, to re-imagine their hospital customer experience. From “tea sommeliers” to hosting a wedding, this is another great story of “practical, radical, change.”

Two of Bill’s slides resonated personally with me, as I work to define my own “brand” –

DO NOT let what you KNOW, limit what you can IMAGINE.

ARE YOU LEARNING as fast as the world is CHANGING?

(emphasis mine)

In all, a very good message, delivered in a very enthusiastic style. Thanks g5, and thanks Bill. A freebie with great value!

Bruce Waltuck

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