ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Re-imagining what a magazine could be led to the founding of edgy business publication Fast Company.
Credit unions can do the same thing, according to William Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company. He explained how Toyota executives decided to out-luxury the luxury car dealers with Lexus; the cars are nice cars but the difference is more about the buying experience. Taylor remarked that Toyota has evolved R&D from research and development to "rip-off and duplicate."
Instead of looking at other upscale automakers, executives from Toyota stayed at Four Seasons hotels up and down the U.S. coasts. From that, they took away special touches such as marble in the restrooms and chocolates on the seats to create a unique experience in luxury auto buying.
Taylor emphasized that the best ideas don't need to all come from the very top--the CEO--but it should be everyone's job to ensure the best ideas surface by "giving lots of people little opportunities."
In the end, for their companies to stay on top executives have to ask themselves: "Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?" Taylor said.