Why Is It So Hard to Be Kind?

My latest post for Harvard Business Review is a little different. It’s a story of my plan to get my Dad a special gift for his 75th birthday, his disappointing experience with a Cadillac dealer, a surprising gesture from a Buick dealer, and what it means for business and success. One of those little stories that offers some pretty big lessons. You can read it here.

The World’s Most Radical Banker

One of the great things about what I do is that I get to meet and learn from innovators who operate so far out on the edge, who think so differently from everyone else in their field, that they are truly one-of-a-kind characters—radicals in the best sense of the word.

Exhibit A is Vernon Hill, the founder and longtime CEO of Commerce Bank, who Polly LaBarre and I wrote about in Mavericks at Work. At Commerce, Vernon and his colleagues reimagined what the experience of retail banking could be like, and they built a booming bank that sold for $8.5 billion in the process. Now he’s bringing his radical ideas to a new market—London. According to this fabulous profile in Fortune, Vernon’s MetroBank—the first new bank licensed in the UK in the last 138 years!—is shaking up the British market just like Commerce did in the US.

The piece is worth a careful read. It confirms one of the core arguments in Practically Radical: You can’t do big things if you’re content with doing things just a little better than everyone else. The game is not to out-compete your rivals. It is to unleash one-of-a-kind ideas in a world filled with me-too thinking. Go, Vernon!

Launch! 85 Days and Counting

It is with great pleasure that I announce the official publication date of my new book, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. The date is Tuesday January 4, 2011–85 days from today, and the first business day of the New Year. That’s right, as soon as you get back to work next year, you can get to work on changing the game.

I’ll be busy on this blog between now and then—spotlighting some of the main ideas in the book, introducing you to some of my favorite characters, and otherwise sharing what I learned in the two years I spent studying 25 organizations, in all sorts of different fields, who are making big positive change in difficult times.

To get a taste of what the book has to offer, be sure to download and share the Practically Radical Preview, which is right here on the home page. I hope you enjoy and benefit from the ideas you find on this blog and in the book, and I hope you’ll share your ideas with me. Let’s get the conversation started!

Homepage Feature

“The most powerful and instructive change manual you’ll ever read.”

– Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of
A Whole New Mind and Drive
Wall Street Journal Bestseller!
#1 Bestseller! Inc./800CEORead