My interview on

October 1, 2013

I was recently interviewed by Pedro De Abreu for an article on Here’s a little taste… Every web site we visit, every book we read, every conference we attend, we are admonished to innovate, to be innovative and to disrupt the market with innovation. Stephen Shapiro, author of the international best-selling business book ‘Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out Innovate the Competition’, makes the case that instead of listening to all the noise, we should ignore all advice (including the ones he gives us in this interview). […]

Bring Me Better Problems

September 20, 2013

In life and in business, we are often told, “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” From my perspective, this is bad advice. I want people to bring me bigger and better problems. Or, as the fortune cookie I got last night (above) implied, if you don’t focus on the right question, the answers/solutions may be useless. Unfortunately, most people continue to work on solutions to problems that don’t matter. Here are some questions that will help you prioritize your thinking: Are you focused on what is important…or on what […]

Why Did Apple Stock Tank?

September 16, 2013

Last week Apple announced their new lineup of iPhones: the 5S and the 5C. In the subsequent days, their stock dropped like the apple that fell from a tree and hit Newton on the head. Why? Most analysts were expecting a lower priced 5C so that it could be competitive in China. At the price it is being offered (over $700 for an unlocked phone), most feel it is too expensive. Was this a misstep by Apple? My gut tells me that there was a fair amount of thought that went […]

Website Changes

September 13, 2013

This week we launched some changes to the website. A revised home page with links to two new pages, one for meeting planners and one for innovation leaders. We also streamlined the look and feel slightly. We revised the look of the blog “listing” page to only provide summaries We removed the Facebook comments from the individual blog pages (and as a result we lost all of those old comments…sorry, but it had to be done). And we added new social media sharing capabilities. Check out my blog post on […]

Innovate Where You Differentiate

September 12, 2013

In Best Practices are Stupid, I discuss the need to “innovate where you differentiate.” That is, discover what you do better than everyone else and rally all of your innovation efforts around that. In the book I discuss one company that does this well – USAA.  They provide financial services to families of the military. For them, their differentiator is clear: they serve those who serve our country. In other words, customer service. Today I saw confirmation that indeed USAA is innovating where they differentiate. They were #1 and #2 in […]

Webinar with InnoCentive

September 11, 2013

For those of you interested in making internal collaboration a reality within your organization, I am conducting a free webinar in conjunction with InnoCentive, the premier open innovation platform. Although some of the content will be similar to what I have presented in the past, there will be some new content specific to internal cultural issues. Here’s a brief description: *** Live Webinar: Innovate Your Internal Collaboration Featuring Innovation Speaker and Author – Stephen Shapiro September 24, 2013 11:00 AM Eastern | 8:00 AM Pacific | 4:00 PM London Although many […]

Line Thinking at 3M

September 9, 2013

From my experience, 80% of innovations within most companies are “dot solutions.” That is, innovations are typically developed by individuals from a single domain of expertise. Deep expertise is valued. Dig deep wells. (for more on my perspectives on dot vs line thinking, please read my article from a while back – this is a critical concept for innovation – I discuss it further in “Best Practices Are Stupid”) While spending time recently at 3M, I learned that 80% of their innovations are “line solutions.” That is, multiple domains of expertise are […]

Do Less, Make More

September 5, 2013

In the September issue of “Speaker Magazine” (published by the National Speakers Association), I have a 3-page article. It is called: Do Less, Make More: Work Only One Hour a Day by Mastering Leverage. Here’s the beginning… I’ve been trying an experiment. For the last six months, I’ve been working, on average, only one hour each day on my speaking business. This wasn’t easy at first given my tendency to sometimes work more than 100 hours a week. However, what I eventually learned was that I could be insanely productive by simply shifting my mindset. Long hours aren’t necessarily required […]

How To Work One Hour A Day And Have A Thriving Business

September 3, 2013

Do you run a small business? Or does your small business run you? As entrepreneurs, there are countless things we could do to grow or improve our businesses. It’s easy to keep busy 100 hours a week. I know—I’ve done so countless times throughout my career. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who has convinced himself that working long, crazy hours is a must if you want to find success. The reality is, however, that there is a point of diminishing returns. Although more work might produce greater results, the return […]

Do You Really Think for Yourself?

August 15, 2013

The question, “Do you really think for yourself?” isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. When a challenge or problem arises at work and you’re unsure of an answer, you probably rely on the judgment of others. But what if you know the answer to the problem? How likely are you to be swayed by other people’s opinions? Countless studies illustrate we may indeed deny our own senses to conform with others. One old yet timeless experiment was designed by psychologist Solomon Asch. He asked participants to determine […]

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