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ISBN 9781591843603 Published Oct. 2010
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Posted Oct. 14, 2011 3:38 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
Imagine a company that has zeroed in on an opportunity to solve a problem or fulfill a need. They hire a bunch of their friends and start brainstorming on how to create something innovative that will not only serve the opportunity, but will set them apart from the competition in big ways. Then, slowly but surely, things go nowhere. The project isn’t a total failure, but the disappointment over what could have been is discouraging, even painful.
According to Stephen Shapiro’s new book, this kind of result occurs because companies rely on following the predictable route: hire a bunch of people you like, and try to get them to think outside the box, when all you have presented them with is the box. Best Practices are Stupid offers alternative practices.
“Hire people you don’t like.” According to Shapiro, different perspectives fuel innovation. Right brainers need left brainers and vice versa. “Recognize people for challenging the status quo,” implying that honoring people for doing their jobs simply asks for, “more of the same, please!” And finally, “give employees a better box,” meaning, instead of asking them to think outside of the box (a clean, empty slate), leaders should provide employees interesting new boxes to work within, be inspired by, and develop into totally new ideas, products, and services.
From process to strategy to measures to people to creativity, Shapiro covers the entire equation. Using great case studies and his intelligent and logical insight, this book is filled with ideas that can create a sustainable, innovative culture and personal philosophy that can be relied upon repeatedly.
His previous book, Personality Poker, made clear that Shapiro understands how people work, both personally, and together. Best Practices Are Stupid now focuses on how leadership can develop teams of highly innovative people, and how employees can find ways to stand out from the herd and achieve greatness within their organization.
Jack Covert Selects - Personality Poker
Posted Nov. 11, 2010 1:30 p.m. by dylan
Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation by Stephen Shapiro, Portfolio, 272 Pages, $25.95, Hardcover, October 2010, ISBN 9781591843603
Everyone faces business challenges, and everyone can think up different ways to approach work, but the way we do these things can be categorized into certain styles. For some, results are the focus. For others, how creative the process feels is important. Figuring out your style will reveal things about yourself that can help you become more focused and productive when challenges arise. However, understanding other peoples’ work styles is the critical part. As most of us know, working together can either be a blessing or a curse. Better understanding others’ motivations can make or break new product launches, marketing strategies, management issues, and a wide variety of common and unique business situations.
Steve Shapiro’s Personality Poker is a seriously fun way to wrap our heads around our own and others’ work styles. Understanding leads to improved communication, appropriate expectations, and better work. In Shapiro’s words:
Personality Poker can help you understand why some employees become frustrated when your organization’s culture conflicts with their innovation styles. With it, you can diagnose the reason your company is struggling to grow. And it can help you, as an individual, be happier and more successful by aligning your style to your role. When we understand our personality style, we can perform at higher levels and better enjoy what we are doing.
Shapiro’s book can also smooth some of the rough edges that inevitably occur in teams, perhaps helping employees appreciate those that might rub them the wrong way or get in their way. Personality Poker teaches us that it is sometimes the most difficult people who are actually the ones we need to work with the most—a useful counterintuitive lesson.
The surprise with Personality Poker is that Shapiro hasn’t just written a book and given it a clever title. Instead, the title is literal: Personality Poker is also a card game that comes packaged with the book, a fun tool to help individuals and small groups work better together. Often, meetings are held before a project to define responsibilities and goals. Just imagine replacing these rote meetings with a card game, an approach that will help your team accomplish more and have fun in the process.
Invest in Personality Poker and find out if you’re a heart, club, diamond or spade, and, as a result, you will become a better team member or leader when the work is dealt out.