Bill Taylor

Entrepreneur And Innovator; Co-founder, Fast Company; Author, Simply Brilliant

An Expert On New Ways To Compete, Innovate And Lead

  • Co–founder, Fast Company magazine, sold for $340 million
  • Three bestsellers – Simply BrilliantPractically Radical and Mavericks at Work
  • Popular Harvard Business Review management blog
  • Fresh expert insights on leadership, culture and change

Rising customer expectations for personal service and transparency…Increasing pressures on expenses and margins…An ever-escalating pace of technology advancement and digital disruption…An explosion of brands, choices, entrants, and business models.

The financial-services field is experiencing an era of massive challenges and unprecedented opportunities. That’s why the work of leadership in financial services is the work of change— unleashing a spirit of renewal and reinvention at every level. Investment banks, mutual funds, private-equity firms, insurance companies, wealth managers, regional and community banks, credit unions—none of these organizations can do big things if they are content with doing things a little better than everyone else or a little differently from how they did them in the past. In an era of hyper-competition and nonstop disruption, the only way to thrive is to stand for something special.

In the pages of his renowned magazine, Fast Company, and in three bestselling books, Bill has chronicled the Mavericks and upstarts that have changed the game in financial services and has drawn lessons from established organizations that are transforming themselves for turbulent times.

He brings bold thinking and inspiring case studies to help financial-services audiences rethink every aspect of strategy, culture, brand, and client experience. Bill emphasizes the connection between growth and the power of ideas: Competition is no longer about being the best at what lots of others already do; it’s about being the only one who does what you do.

He also explains the importance of people and culture: Great companies don’t just think differently from everyone else, they care more than everyone else. Finally, amidst seismic pressures and dramatic shifts, Bill urges organizations to make sure that well-established practices and professional expertise doesn’t get in the way of innovation: The challenge is for everyone to keep learning as fast as the world is changing. Bill is committed to translating the lessons he’s drawn from some of the world’s most creative and successful organizations into a compelling program for financial services audiences—to help leaders, managers, and front-line contributors make positive, deep-seated change in uncertain, fast-moving times.

  • The Hard Work Of Big Change
  • Leadership In An Age Of Disruption
  • New Rules For Entrepreneurs
  • Talent, Culture, And The New World Of Work

Bill Taylor’s presentation was excellent! I was sitting next to one of our senior officers who was VERY impressed with his message. I got a lot of positive feedback from the attendees on his presentation. He was a pleasure to work with.”

“Bill delivered a great program. He got great feedback from the live audience and high marks from the Webcast. In fact, we have created a leader action guide as a way for teams to take the conversation about his talk further and begin putting their ideas into action. The guide includes a link to his keynote, his manifesto, and a suggestion to bring teams together for a facilitated discussion or brainstorming session.”
Fidelity Investments

“Thank you so much for a great session! You made your content very relevant for Citi and you had great energy in the delivery of the session, which was contagious. The response we got from the attendees was very positive, and many of them committed to trying something new.”

“Thank you for a terrific presentation to our brokers and managers. We heard so many great comments about your remarks. You intrigued, informed, and inspired us all, which added great value to our conference experience!”
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

A Partial List of Bill’s Financial Service’s Clients

  • Allstate
  • Capital One
  • Commonwealth Financial
  • Credit Suisse First Boston
  • CUNA
  • CUSO
  • FBR Capital Markets
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Fidelity Global Services
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Financial Planning Association (FPA)
  • Financial Times
  • First Allied
  • Girard Securities
  • Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)
  • Million Dollar Round Table
  • Minnesota Life
  • Northwest Mutual
  • Regions Bank
  • Securian
  • Union Bank
Travels From:  Massachusetts
City: Boston
$20,001 to $30,000


Bill Taylor has encouraged a generation of executives and company-builders to think differently about change, leadership, and the new world of work. A spirited and hard-charging entrepreneur, Bill co-founded Fast Company, easily the most influential voice on business and innovation in the last two decades. Fast Company chronicles the revolution in management and competition driven by technology, and profiles the mavericks and rule breakers who achieve outsize success by taking a different path. In less than six years, a magazine that took shape in borrowed office space in Harvard Square sold for $340 million. In addition to writing, Bill’s passion has always been speaking – bringing audiences groundbreaking new ideas and techniques to compete, innovate, and succeed. He’s also authored three bestselling books on leadership, culture, and change. His latest, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, was named “Best Strategy & Leadership Book of 2016” by 800CEORead. His previous books include Practically Radical and Mavericks at Work. Bill created the “Under New Management” column for The New York Times and has published numerous essays and CEO interviews in the Harvard Business Review, where he now blogs regularly.

Bill’s latest book, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, offers a set of messages and a collection of case studies about how to unleash breakthrough creativity and cutting-edge performance in even the most competitive, hard-to-change fields. Simply Brilliant was published in September 2016 by Portfolio, the business imprint of Penguin Random House. The book was named “Best Book of 2016” by Leadership Now. Wharton professor Adam Grant calls it “a fascinating look inside companies that are rewriting rules of success.” Sir Ken Robinson says it “offers transformative messages for leaders in all walks of life.”

Simply Brilliant is a sequel of sorts to Bill’s popular book, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. Bestselling author Daniel H. Pink called Practically Radical “the most powerful and instructive change manual you’ll ever read.” Anne Mulcahy, former chairman and CEO of Xerox, called it “a handbook for successful transformation and a great tutorial for implementing your change agenda.”

Before Practically Radical, Bill co-authored Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. Just weeks after its release, Mavericks became a New York Times Bestseller, a Wall Street Journal Business Best Seller and a BusinessWeek Best Seller. The Economist called the book “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great.” The Economist also named Mavericks one of its “Books of the Year” for 2006, as did The Financial Times.

Bill’s three books are just the latest chapter in a career devoted to challenging conventional wisdom and showcasing the power of business at its best. As co-founder and founding editor of Fast Company, he launched a magazine that won countless awards, earned a passionate following among executives and entrepreneurs around the world—and became a legendary business success.

Fast Company has won just about every award there is to win in the magazine world, from “Startup of the Year” to “Magazine of the Year” to three National Magazine Awards. In recognition of Fast Company‘s impact on business, Bill was named “Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance” by the American Society of Training and Development. Past winners include Jack Welch of GE and Fred Smith of FedEx.

A graduate of Princeton University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, Bill Taylor lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.


Rules for Transforming Your Organization and Challenging Yourself.

In an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the most urgent work is the work of making meaningful, deep-seated change in organizations everywhere.

When customers have higher expectations than ever, digital technologies and new business models create more choices than ever, and political and social trends create more turmoil than ever, then familiar strategies and established ways of working are less effective than ever. That means even the most successful companies have to rethink and reimagine every aspect of how they do business and deliver results—building on their past success, as they build out a new perspective on the future.

But how do you break new ground when there is so much pressure to avoid mistakes? How do you keep people focused and confident in a world that seems so uncertain? In short, how do you unleash long-lasting, positive change in organizations in turbulent, fast-moving times?

These are the questions Bill Taylor addresses in his provocative and energizing keynote.

His message is designed to help leaders from all walks of life transform their organizations, shake up their industries, and challenge themselves. He brings his message to life with colorful stories of organizations that are unleashing innovations and driving transformations in all sorts of fields—from retail to software, automobiles to financial services, hotels to hospitals.

Ultimately, Bill’s message, lessons, and stories amount to a manifesto for managing change and a manual for achieving it—at a moment when change is the name of the game.

In a world being remade before our eyes, leaders who make a difference are the ones who can reimagine what’s possible at their organization and in their field, and who can turn bold strategies into relentless execution. And they’re not just CEOs; they’re executives running business units, managers in charge of key departments, engineers or marketers running project teams, entrepreneurs building a company from scratch.

Regardless of their formal role or title in the organization, high-impact leaders exude both originality and utility—provocative thinking that energizes their colleagues, a roll-up-the-sleeves approach to work and culture that shapes how everyone shares ideas and solves problems.

Put simply, the best leaders are the most insatiable learners and the most effective communicators. In this inspiring and instructive keynote, Bill Taylor shows why he is one of the most popular leadership speakers. 

He offers hands-on thinking gleaned from the most extraordinary leaders he’s studied over the last 25 years.  These leaders have many different personalities and styles, they’ve built very different kinds of companies and organizations, but they’ve all wrestled with the defining questions that face leaders everywhere—questions whose answers amount to a new agenda for leadership.

The challenge for leaders today is to help their organizations see things that other organizations don’t see, and do things that other organizations can’t or won’t do. Bill’s insights, stories, and takeaways prepare leaders at every level to master that challenge.

There has never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur, whether it’s building a company from a blank sheet of paper, launching or investing in a franchise, or starting something new inside an established organization.

In the old world of business, the strong took from the weak. If you had the deepest pockets, the biggest factories or labs, the best-known brands, you won by virtue of your power. In the new world of business, the smart take from the strong.

The most successful entrepreneurs don’t try to out-compete their bigger rivals; they redefine the terms of competition by embracing one-of-a-kind ideas in a world filled with me-too thinking. Thanks to the revolutions in computing, communications, and social media, along with an explosion of new business models and new sources of financing, smaller and smaller groups of people can do bigger and bigger things.

In this provocative and pragmatic keynote targeted to entrepreneurs, small-business leaders, and franchise owners and operators, Bill Taylor offers a set of principles and a collection of case studies drawn from some of the world’s most successful company-builders: founders of small banks, restaurants, retailers, consumer-product companies, software firms, franchises, even a parking garage.

These hard-charging entrepreneurial leaders are winning big by changing the game in their fields. Bill offers a new business plan for entrepreneurial growth, and hands-on advice for turning goals into results.

Business today is about distinctive competitive strategies, game-changing technologies, and creative social media and marketing. But the most successful organizations, those built on fierce executive and nonstop innovation, work as distinctively as they compete.

The first question great organizations can answer is: What separates us from our rivals in the marketplace? But the next question is: What holds us together as colleagues in the workplace? In an era of brash ideas and disruptive business models, organizations that create the most extraordinary value are the ones that generate the most widely shared sense of commitment, connection, and compassion among colleagues.

Whether you’re in a fast-moving technology field or a more traditional, slow-to-change industry, your organization can’t be exceptional in the marketplace unless it creates something exceptional in the workplace.

In a keynote that is at once highly strategic and deeply human, Bill Taylor draws on his access to some of the world’s most high-performing and creative workplaces to explore how organizations can unleash and sustain a culture of fierce execution and nonstop innovation. His ideas, lessons, diagnostics, and case studies are a pragmatic guide to the new world of work and a cutting-edge agenda for recruiting, evaluating, organizing, and retaining talent.

Areas of expertise

  • Accountability
  • Business Growth
  • Business Strategy
  • Change
  • Competition
  • Corp.Culture
  • Diversity
  • Empowerment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Execution,
  • Improving Performance
  • Innovation, Inspiration,
  • Managing/Leading Change
  • Peak Performance
  • Real Leaders
  • Reinventing Management and Teamwork
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