By Phil Klutts
November 9, 2021

“Reset” your company culture

Do you believe in creating a better workplace for your employees? "Reset" by Johnny C. Taylor gives insight on why you should and how to do it.


By Johnny C. Taylor

Some books fly under the radar yet pack a powerful punch. Reset by Johnny C. Taylor has been one of those books for me, although I do not recall how it made it into my reading list. However, I am glad I picked it up and that I continued to read it. I almost set it aside and moved on as I was reading chapter two because the first chapters seemed too focused on human resource professionals and culture at large organizations. I was interested in the book because of the emphasis on culture shifts and optimizing company effectiveness in 2021 and beyond, but started thinking it was not going to be beneficial.

I committed to reading at least three chapters, although it was a struggle for a few pages. Reset began to capture my attention as I continued reading. The topics and questions that Taylor proposes in the book took significant energy and mental focus for me.

Most of us are leading and working in new environments due to pandemics, racial issues, equality, and more. Taylor confronts these topics head-on in Reset. These topics are essential for business leaders to engage with and address in our organizations, regardless of how you feel about them on a personal level. Reset presents questions and viewpoints then delivers some clear paths to improve business culture and define better workplaces through a lens of human resources.

Taylor is the president and CEO of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). He brings the perspective of many of the world’s top companies through this association and the work they do. Taylor also draws on his professional experience from previous roles and companies.

Reset was published in August 2021 and is listed on the Wall Street Journal’s “Best Sellers” list. It has a fresh perspective on work-life since COVID and all that 2020 brought us. The book examines how innovation and forward-thinking keep us sane during the isolation of COVID-19.

Taylor discusses Netflix’s pivot to creating original content and the success it has had, and yes, he does mention Oklahoma’s own Tiger King. This reference brings reality to the ideas in the book, and I distinctly remember sitting on Zoom and discussing the show. The success of Netflix isn’t the only future-looking idea inside the book. Taylor mentions some shifts that we can expect to see in the workplace. Wearable tech, redefining “employee” and “employment,” and universal childcare are all on his watchlist.

He keys in on dramatic shifts that emerge and are being expedited by work-from-home and technology advancements. Taylor convincingly argues that the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act are outdated and need revisions to fit today’s workplace. Leaders should always be looking out and caring for employees. I concur with Taylor here that the regulations in place could use a fresh new look to fit current times.

Reset touches on other topics such as how to bridge the skills gap and how to tackle equity and fair pay. This book doesn’t classify and feel-good or easy-reading. It hits hard on points that may make you uncomfortable. Taylor takes an optimist view and willingness to discuss tough topics. This book is worth a read if you believe in creating a better workplace now and into the future.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.