Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition

    By Stephen M Shapiro
What if almost everything you know about creating a culture of innovation is wrong?  What if the way you are measuring innovation is choking it? What if your market research is asking all of the wrong questions?

It's time to innovate the way you innovate.

Stephen Shapiro is one of America's foremost innovation advisors, whose methods have helped organizations like Staples, GE, Telefónica, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and USAA. He teaches his clients that innovation isn't just about generating occasional new ideas; it's about staying consistently one step ahead of the competition.

In Best Practices Are Stupid, Shapiro offers forty counter-intuitive yet proven strategies for boosting innovation and making it a repeatable, sustainable, and profitable process at the heart of your company's culture. They include:

- Hire people you don't like. Bring in the right mix of people to unleash your team's full potential.

- Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Define challenges more clearly. If you ask better questions, you will get better answers.

- Don't think outside the box; find a better box. Instead of giving your employees a blank slate, provide them with well-defined parameters that will increase their creative output.

- Failure is always an option. Looking at innovation as a series of experiments allows you to redefine failure and learn from your results.

Shapiro shows that nonstop innovation is attainable and vital to building a high-performing team, improving the bottom line, and staying ahead of the pack.

Author Bio

Stephen M. Shapiro is an expert on innovation, a popular speaker, and the author of Personality Poker. He previously led a twenty-thousand-person process and innovation practice during a fifteen-year tenure at Accenture. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Investor's Business Daily, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The New York Times. Visit
Stephen Shapiro obtained his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1969. He is particularly interested in applying neutron and x-ray scattering techniques to study structural and magnetic phase transitions in condensed matter systems.


NEWS: LeaveSmarter: Stephen Shapiro

Posted May 10, 2012, 8:09 PM with category of Innovation & Creativity
Yesterday, Stephen Shapiro was in town for our private LeaveSmarter event, sponsored by BMO Harris/M&I Bank and Whyte Hirschboek Dudek. His talked focused on ideas from his recent book, and 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award winner for 2011, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition. According to Shapiro, the main problems we have with being innovative, is how we think about things, the kind of questions we ask, and what we already know about the challenges we face. Read more

NEWS: The Category Winners for the 2011 Business Book Awards

Posted January 10, 2012, 8:11 PM with category of General Business
The time has come! Drum roll, please. . Read more

NEWS: 2011 Business Book Awards: The Short List

Posted January 4, 2012, 7:40 PM with category of General Business
What was the Best Business Book written in 2011? Watch this 90 second video and find out more. Ok, so we didn't tell you what the best book was. Read more

NEWS: Introducing the Candidates: Creativity/Innovation, Marketing/Sales

Posted December 22, 2011, 3:22 PM with category of General Business
Over the course of this week, we will be introducing, by category, the candidates for the 2011 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards. Even though only one of the candidates can win the big prize, good business books deserve an audience, and perhaps one on this list will be the winning book. . Read more

JACK COVERT SELECTS: Jack Covert Selects - Best Practices Are Stupid

Posted October 14, 2011, 1:38 PM with category of General Business
Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition by Stephen M. Shapiro, Portfolio, 224 pages, $22. 95, Hardcover, September 2011, ISBN 9781591843856 Imagine a company that has zeroed in on an opportunity to solve a problem or fulfill a need. Read more


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ISBN 9781591843856
Language English
Pages 224
Publish Date 09/01/2011
Published 09/2011
Publisher Portfolio

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