Keeping Up with Practically Radical–Week Two

I want to take a moment and say thanks to everyone who has helped Practically Radical get off to such a fast start. The book was released  two weeks ago today, and it’s been a blur of activity ever since. Here’s an update.

I am pleased to report that in its first week of eligibility, Practically Radical debuted at #6 on the Wall Street Journal Hardcover Business List. We’re an immediate bestseller! What a thrill.

Meanwhile, the folks at CNN got “practically radical” in the form of a wonderful segment on the “Parker Spitzer” program. It was a blast, both hosts really got into the book, and we had just a great conversation.

Much to my pleasure (and relief), the early reviews have been tremendously positive. One of my favorites was in the New York Journal of Books, which took the book very seriously and was just so nice about the “enthusiasm” in the pages. “It’s this enthusiasm that shines through and becomes infectious–the type of enthusiasm that makes a reader devour the book and then return for seconds.” Wow, thanks!

Meanwhile, my colleagues at Fast Company dedicated a whole week to excerpts from, interviews about, and resources drawn from the book, and then they were kind enough to round-up all the articles in one place. It’s a really nice collection of material, and I appreciate their dedication to the book.

Finally, the cherry on the week’s ice-cream sundae. What a hoot to discover that technology innovators Jim Lavoie and Joe Marino, two of the characters featured in the book, got so excited when they read Practically Radical that they wrote and recorded a song about it, set to Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year.” You can listen to the song here. It may not win a Grammy, but it’s got a special place on my iPod.

I can’t wait for Week Three!

Launch Trajectory: Highlights from Week One

Practically Radical officially launched on Tuesday, January 4–one week ago today. And what a week it’s been! A blur of interviews, blog posts, celebrations, and all the fun and exciting stuff that comes with the publication of a new book. I can’t list everything that happened last week, but allow me to point to just a few of the highlights. Then it’s time to roar into Week Two, and a whole new round of activities.

You can’t launch a book without throwing a party, and we had a great one in New York City complete with old friends and new members of the network, a soapbox on which attendees stood to offer “practically radical” resolutions for 2011, and a special cocktail, created by the folks at Absolut Vodka, to toast the book–a delicious concoction they called the “Absolut Radical.”

Every book author hopes to be on TV with his or her ideas, of course, and I had a ball with an appearance on CNN’s “Parker Spitzer.” It was a long, thoughtful, and fun segment, and Eliot and Kathleen really dug in to the core ideas and case studies in the book. You can watch the segment here. I’ll alert you to a few upcoming TV appearances.

Meanwhile, the gang at Fast Company went out of their way to showcase the book, offering excerpts, an interview with me, and all kinds of other great stuff. They have assembled all of their Practically Radical material in one place, and it really is a nice glimpse into many different elements of the book. Thanks, Fast Company.

Needless to say,  a big part of launching a book these days is spreading your ideas online. Some of the Web’s most prominent business bloggers went out of their way to share the Practically Radical message. The irrepressible Dan Pink invited me to share three resolutions for the New Year with members of his community. Evangelist extraordinaire Guy Kawasaki offered the Top Ten Ways to be Practically Radical. And Dan Schawbel, an influential guru of Personal Branding, did a fun interview with me about the book and its messages for individuals.

All in all, it was an exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting first week–the kind of week every author hopes for. Thanks to everyone for their support. Onward to Week Two!

Don’t Change the Channel!

I may have a “face for radio” (old joke, I know), but I’ll be on CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” program tonight, 8:00 PM EST, talking about Practically Radical. Some guy named Alec Baldwin will be on too.

Practically Radical–A Busy Day One

Phew! Day One of the launch is drawing to a close, and if tomorrow is anything like today, I may need a vacation by the end of the week!

What a fun (if exhausting) day of reviews, interviews, excerpts, blogs, and tweets. Over on Dan Pink’s blog, I offer three resolutions for how to be “practically radical” in 2011. Meanwhile the folks at Monster.com put together a fun excerpt from the book that captures the new logic of innovation and leadership.

A special thanks to my friends at Fast Company, which not only ran an excerpt from the book but published a really fun interview about why I wrote it and what I want to achieve with it. Finally, Dan Schawbel, over at his Personal Branding blog, put together a really smart interview that was awfully fun to do.

Time for a beer! Lots more to come tomorrow…

A Huge Day Early in the New Year!

Today’s a big day–no, a huge day– for me. At long last, it’s Launch Day for Practically Radical. The countdown is over! Look for all kinds of news and updates over the next few weeks.

Amazingly, and purely coincidentally, it is also the day of my 25th wedding anniversary.

So thanks to all of you for the professional support over the years as I’ve chronicled the ever-changing logic of innovation and leadership. And thanks, Chloe, for putting up with me for the last quarter-century. Some things never change, and I’m glad you’re one of them.

Okay, enough with the sentimentality. I gotta go sell some books!

We’re Havin’ a Party! Join Us on January 5 in NYC

What’s a new book without a book-release party? My friends at TBWA, the amazing marketers behind such iconic brands as Apple, Absolut, Adidas, and Visa, are hosting a “Practically Radical” event in New York City on Wednesday January 5. If you’re going to be in the area, and wish to attend, shoot me an email (williamctaylor@yahoo.com) and I’ll get you the formal invite.

Two weeks ’til launch….

A “Game Plan for Game Changers”

Practically Radical launches three weeks from today, and I’m excited! So excited, in fact, that I have begun to share some of the key ideas in the book. Here’s my new post for HBR, on four simple ideas that constitute a “game plan for game changers.” You can read it here. Enjoy!!!

A “Practically Radical” Review

Every author waits nervously for his or her pre-release review in Publishers Weekly, the bible of booksellers everywhere. Well, the review of Practically Radical is in, and it rocks! PW calls the book “an engaging and briskly written read” with “actionable prescriptions and meaningful examples” that “will captivate and benefit” leaders who want to make change in their organizations.

We’re less than a month away from publication, and this is a nice way to start the ramp-up. Thanks, PW!

Why Nobody Wins Unless Everybody Wins

Recently, I’ve started thinking about something Bruce Springsteen used to say back in the 1980s, because it seems so relevant to what we’re going through as a country, an economy, and as businesses today. During the height of the Born in the USA craze, when Ronald Reagan dominated American politics and Bruce ruled the cultural landscape, he ended his live shows with a simple admonition that was easy to miss amidst the screams of tens of thousands of delirious fans. “Remember,” he’d tell the crowd, “nobody wins unless everybody wins.”

I wish more of us could remember that admonition today. The story of America since the 1980s has been one of huge gains flowing to a tiny segment of the population, with the vast majority barely holding its ground. Through good times and bad, boom and bust, the richest of the rich have been getting richer, while most everyone else has barely gotten by.

What I find so unsettling about the explosion of inequality in the nation is that it flies in the face of everything I’ve learned about what it takes to build a prosperous organization. The most successful companies I’ve gotten to know understand that they create the most value when people at every level share in the value they help to create. That’s why Silicon Valley upstarts are so committed to granting stock options up and down the ranks. It’s also why great old-line companies such as Southwest Airlines, Publix Supermarkets, and W.L. Gore are built around an “ownership culture” that shares the wealth with rank-and-file employees—and shares all kinds of data to help employees run the business.

We know what works inside our best companies—giving as many people as possible a piece of the action, allowing everyone to “share the wealth” they help to create. And yet, as a nation, we have been unable for decades to address the causes and consequences of the “winner-take-all” ethos that is skewing our economy and tearing at our society. That’s the unfinished business of our country—and a pressing challenge for thinkers, innovators, and leaders everywhere.

Here’s my longer take for HBR on this subject.