“Best Practices Are Stupid” Named Best Innovation & Creativity Book of 2011

January 10, 2012

I am excited and honored to announce that my book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, was just named the best “innovation and creativity” book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ.  Winners in other categories include Jim Collins, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Eric Ries.

You can see the entire list here on the 800-CEO-READ website.

Thank you to everyone at Portfolio/Penguin for helping make this book a reality.  And thanks to the great people at 800-CEO-READ for everything you do to promote business books.

P.S.  Jim Collins, congratulations for being selected as the best overall business book of 2011.

Major Licensing Deal Signed

December 28, 2011

As some of you know, my 2012 business strategy is to license my content in a number of creative ways.

We already licensed Personality Poker in a variety of languages and to a number of trainers.  The Dutch translation is the most recent version and will be available in January.

And, just last week, we signed a major deal with one of the premier training organizations to take my content and convert it into workshops that will be delivered by their certified trainers.  This is exciting news as it will make my content more accessible to more organizations.

More details coming soon.

“Best Practices Are Stupid” Named One of the Best in 2011

December 13, 2011

I’m pleased that the American Express OPEN Forum (via Matthew E. May) selected Best Practices Are Stupid as one of the top 15 books of 2011.  Check out the complete list

Also, Best Practices Are Stupid  was selected as one of the “Top-Drawer Business Books of 2011″ by the advertising agency, DDB.  See the complete list here

And, in case you missed it, there is an excellent review of the book on the Actionable Books website.  Read it here

Website Updated

November 16, 2011

You may have noticed that we redid this website.  The content from www.stupidpractices.com has been moved here.  We now highlight all 5 of my books on the top as well as more prominent links to buy them in the right sidebar.  And the overall design has been cleaned up and simplified.  I welcome ANY comments.  Thanks!

Best Practices Are Stupid on ABC News…and more

October 10, 2011

My new book, Best Practices Are Stupid, has been all over the news lately.  Here’s just a small sample…

Interview on ABC News (click video above)

Review on Fortune.com - “Why your company (probably) can’t innovate”

Best Practices Are Stupid on the USA Today reading list

Best Practices Are Stupid on the CIO Magazine reading list

Interview on CBS Interactive’s BNET (click video above)

My New Mantra

September 26, 2011

Chris Martin created this cool graphic that is the mantra for my new book.  As you can see, it includes the url for our soon to be launched website.

Innovation is not replication replication replication

One Week Until My New Book is Available

September 22, 2011

In one week (September 29th), my new book will be available in book stores, online, and on the Kindle. It is published by Penguin’s Portfolio imprint.  For those of you who are new to this blog, here’s a description…

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

Well-intentioned leaders, in their attempts to boost innovation, are inadvertently destroying it.

What if 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.

In Best Practices Are Stupid, I offer forty counterintuitive 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 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-define 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.

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

Other powerful strategies include:

  • The performance paradox. When organizations hyper focus on their goals, they are less likely to achieve those goals.
  • Expertise is the enemy of innovation. The more you know about a particular topic, the more difficult it is for you to think about it in a different way.
  • The Goldilocks principle. Challenges can’t be too big or too small.  They must be “just right” to maximize the likelihood of a workable solution.
  • Learn from Indiana Jones. Real treasure can be found when you leave your office, don your fedora and bullwhip, and study customers with your own two eyes.
  • Use the reality TV show model. Competitions are as much about generating buzz and stimulating interest in innovation as they are about finding specific solutions.

You can pre-order NOW on any of these sites.


Barnes & Noble


Indie Bound

Read our Change This Manifesto

October 6, 2010

Today, the good folks at ChangeThis.com published my Personality Poker manifesto.  It is a quick read that will provide you some of my thoughts on why organizations struggle to become innovative…and what can be done about it.

Read it/download it here

Here’s the excerpt that Change This included on their website…

Issue 75 – 01 | Personality Poker: How to Create High-Performing Innovation Teams
By Stephen M. Shapiro Published Oct. 6, 2010 12:00 a.m.

“The desire for equality permeates everything we do and always has, as can be seen in many of our age-old philosophies. For example, we see it in the Golden Rule, which is often interpreted as ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ However, who really cares what you want? After all, treating people as you want to be treated doesn’t address the needs and desires of others.

Buying into these doctrines, myths, and lies leads to pasteurizing, homogenizing, and sanitizing everyone in order to fit people into one mold and think the same way so they can then gather together in like-minded harmony. There’s a good reason why they call it a company culture, since organizations are, in actuality, mini-cults. Instead, we should consider living by the doctrine:

The person you like the least may be the person you need the most.”

The New Personality Poker Cards are Available!

September 14, 2010

The Personality Poker book is available in 6 weeks and 2 days.

But starting today, you can buy the new and improved Personality Poker cards from the “Change This” site.  These are the guys who bring you the Change This manifestos.

For the past few years, we have been selling the cards for $200 for 6 decks with instructions.  But after printing 50,000 decks of cards, our production costs have dropped significantly.  Therefore we are pleased to offer the cards for:

Aside from the reduced price (over 50% less), the cards have 2 major improvements.

  1. The cards have new words: We partnered with a psychology professor from Columbia College who did some scientific analysis.
  2. The cards have a new design: When you hold them in your hand you can read the words along the side.  This makes playing the game even easier.

If you want to energize a meeting, supercharge your innovation team, or just have some fun, you’ll want to get your decks of Personality Poker now.

P.S. The 800 CEO READ guys, the owners of Change This, wrote a blog entry on Personality Poker

R.I.P. Robert B. Parker

January 19, 2010

Today I learned that one of my favorite authors, Robert B. Parker, passed away.

He is probably best know for his “Spenser” books.  These fast-paced crime stories are based in Boston (my hometown) and were the  inspiration for the ’80s TV show, “Spenser: For Hire.”  I read every book and loved them all.

He is also the author of the Jesse Stone books which were made into several made-for-TV movies starring Tom Selleck.  And he wrote Appaloosa which was turned into a major motion picture featuring Ed Harris.

You can read a tribute to him in the Wall Street Journal.

Bob, you will be missed!

The picture is of me with Robert Parker at his home in 2008.  He and his wife Joan hosted a lovely dinner party there for me and 20 of my friends.  It will be a night I always remember.

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