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Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition Hardcover – September 29, 2011
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About the Author
More About the Author
During the past twenty years, his message to hundreds of thousands of people in forty countries around the world has remained the same: Innovation only occurs when organizations bring together divergent points of view in an efficient manner.
Over the years, Stephen Shapiro has shared his innovative philosophy in books such as 24/7 Innovation and The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas. He has also trained more than 20,000 consultants in innovation during his 15 year tenure with Accenture. His latest creation Personality Poker, has been used by more than 25,000 people around the world to create high-performing innovation teams.
In addition to being an advisor, speaker, and author on innovation, he serves as the Chief Innovation Evangelist for InnoCentive, a pioneer in the burgeoning field of open innovation.
His work has been featured in Newsweek, Investor's Business Daily, Entrepreneur Magazine, O- The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, and other prestigious publications. His clients include Staples, GE, BP, Johnson & Johnson, Fidelity Investments, Pearson Education, Nestlé, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Top Customer Reviews
Shapiro points out that innovation is a well-worn subject and that in many cases those tried and true beliefs about innovation are neither innovative nor effective. In response Shapiro offers 40 tips some of which confirm but many of which breath new life into innovation thinking and practice.
The book is recommended to individuals and teams who are looking to initiative innovation programs, particularly for the first time, as it gives fresh thinking to the field. Experienced innovators or students of innovation will find much of the first part of the book familiar and may tend to discount is value. That would be a mistake as Shapiro effectively bridges the best parts of current innovation practices with new ideas to create new results.
The book presents each of the 40 tips in short and focused descriptions, many with examples that make them easier to understand and deploy. In addition, Shapiro makes use of illustrations when it matters to help people see the ideas clearly. This gives the book both an intellectual feel as its stimulates your thinking as well as an actionable and practical side needed to create value from innovation.Read more ›
In other words, it seems like the field of innovation is somewhat lacking in innovation.
Well, today an excellent new book comes out to change all that. It's called Best Practices are Stupid - 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition by Stephen Shapiro and it will challenge everything you think you know about innovation.
I was blown away by all the great advice in the book. It outlines clearly what any workplace - big or small, private or public - needs to do to become more innovative.
The book is easy to read and the advice is clearly outlined and accessible. It has 40 chapters each of which challenges one of our preconceived notions about innovation.
Here are some of my favorite examples from the book:
Hire people you don't like. Because the people you like the least are the people you need the most.
Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Define challenges more clearly. If you ask better questions, you will get better answers.
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.
Basically, this book should be your new innovation bible. Read more about the book and buy it here.
One would think it's a long reach to compare Stephen King and Stephen Shapiro. In King's recent interview in The Atlantic, he suggests NOT writing down ideas because, "If you can't remember it, it was a terrible idea!" That is an interesting demonstration of Shapiro's theme of innovating your way of innovating - an organic aspect of the creative process which Shapiro lays out nicely. Other themes of the book, particularly in the "Creative" section, lubricate rusty parts of the creative intelligence. It's simply a matter of distilling corporate innovation into various layers of the craft of writing fiction.
In his book Pathway to Liberty, The great innovator Thomas Willhite, founder of PSI, brought "Change your Thinking" into the contemporary corporate model. In Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, Stephen Shapiro has both amplified and fine-tuned the concept, even for us right-brain types who would rather get lost than have to follow directions to get there.
Because the number one need of most organizations in 2012-2013 is growth, Shapiro offers several thought-provoking ideas to promote innovation. I did not find all 40 ways listed as useful, but here's a list of my Top Three:
A. Innovation is not a vertical department or division of a company. Instead, the best innovation results from a horizontal cross-functional process. Shapiro says on page 27 cross-disciplinary teams have a higher failure rate BUT their innovations are more radical and greater potential value.
B. Perfection is taking away, not adding. 99% of Microsoft Office software is not used. Google's innovation years ago was based on simplicity, not complexity. I use 1-page business plans and 1-page strategic plans because they force business leaders to takeaway instead of add.
C. One of the most profound statements in the book is on page 77. The three requirements for an individual or organization to successfully change are:
1. You must be dissatisfied with the current state of affairs.
2. You must be aware of a better way.
3. You must believe that you can achieve the better way.
The tendency of most change processes is to leap to step 2 without gaining consensus that the current situation is unacceptable. Also, I've seen many change iniatives fail because the people in an organization agree step 2 is good BUT don't believe they can implement and sustain it.
To create innovative ideas, say "Yes AND" instead of "Yes BUT".
Will you benefit from this book? Yes AND you'll likely make it an ongoing resource.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read. Lots of very practical ideas for improving your work approach. Not all will necessarily apply to you, but the ones that do will make you think. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
The discussions of how to get ideas from employees without sifting through mountains is worth the price, and more importantly, the time to read this book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Long Time Programmer
The author introduces a great premise … it’s time to innovate the way we innovate. Innovation tends to be episodic but Shapiro emphasizes the need to consistently produce fresh... Read morePublished on November 28, 2013 by Jeffrey Swystun
I bought this book after hearing a 1 hour webinar on this book with the author. I have to say that the webinar was one of the best I've heard all year. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by groupworker
It is great to read innovative ideas about innovation! In this book, Stephen M. Shapiro gives the reader a powerful vision, while writing in a fresh and intelligent way. Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by Dorie Clark
A small but powerful book that leaders will need to have on their bookshelf. The author knows this topic ans is able to deliver the 40 tips concisely with impact. Read morePublished on June 11, 2013 by Reg Nordman
Shapiro gets you there amazingly fast with the counter-intuitive principles that can shake up your thinking. It's a must read in the innovation space.Published on June 7, 2013 by Robert Richman
If you like vagueness and hindsight set in a pop culture tone then Best Practices Are Stupid (BPAS) is for you. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by TPS Report Fighter
Managers need to look at both sides of the issues and this book helps to modify the stuff you learned in college so that you can be the complete manager.Published on March 3, 2013 by The Job Doctor