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Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamworkand Innovation Hardcover – October 28, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Steve Shapiro's techniques have transformed the way we work together. Personality Poker may be a game, but it provides some serious results."
-Wouter Koetzier, Global Innovation Lead, Accenture

"Personality Poker is a simple yet extremely effective tool for understanding personality mixes and their impact on driving or blocking innovation. And because it is highly interactive with 'audience participation,' the energy level in the room during is through the roof."
-Andrew Bushell, former head of Innovation, Novartis Consumer Health

"I had the opportunity to apply Personality Poker during an off-site as part of a Team Building event. In a quick 60 minutes, I saw the team not only recognize styles they like the least, they identified how they can leverage those traits to help them the most! The event created a buzz that continued well past the event, A month later, I continue to see evidence that the awareness the game fosters really 'stuck.'"
-Michele Egger, Innovation Operations, Chevron

"Personality Poker is a fun and engaging approach to both personal assessment and understanding team dynamics. This approach helped me recognize how my own problem-solving approach may complement (or clash) with other team members, and gave me useful insights into future team development."
-Ben Cowles, P&C Business Insurance Service Operations, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

"I thought I'd seen just about every profiling tool there was. Until now, those I've seen all required you to fill out questionnaires that are boring and can lead to biased answers. But Personality Poker got to the desired endpoint more quickly, more engagingly, and with less bias than any of these."
-Rob, S., Innovation Champion and Facilitator, R&D Division, A Major Pharmaceutical

"If you're looking for an engaging, invigorating and creative way to kick off your conference or meeting, I highly recommend Personality Poker!"
-Randal White, V.P. Innovation Engineering, Imaginatik, plc

"My experience with group style awareness exercises is that they are like getting five-year-olds to take medicine - unpleasant to administer and having benefits that are little understood by the patients. Personality Poker is actually fun and most important, very thorough in understanding team member styles as well as one's own. The result must be a higher probability of stronger teams with a greater utilization of strengths and acceptance of differences."
-Bruce Harned, President, MarketFit Associates

From Publishers Weekly

An entertaining, if slightly wacky, personality-type game designed to improve performance in the workplace by Fortune 500 company adviser Shapiro, the game helps players identify and understand their "innovation styles": how they uniquely contribute to the success of a team and its chief goals. Each suit is assigned to a particular personality type, and the cards are shuffled and exchanged as the players learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses. The objective of the game, unfolding through four phases (define the challenge, generate solutions, plan and execute, engage hearts and minds) helps leaders put together a team withe each person's strengths used to their full advantage, in order to spur the team to optimized performance and more efficient work. A successful game ends with a team "playing with a full deck"--with all suits represented and allocated in the right way. Shapiro presents an extremely precise, process-driven method of personality analysis, simplified into game form; a clever idea, but more gimmick than guide.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 Pcr Har/ edition (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184360X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843603
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #921,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gregg Fraley on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There's a new wave of poker madness about to start. I'm not talking Texas Hold-em.

This book is innovative in several ways. First, it's a truly novel way to assess yourself, teams, and companies. The built in assessment reveals your personality preferences, but perhaps more importantly, it's been designed to tell how your traits fit into the innovation process.

Second, it's not just a book, it's also a deck of cards, a card game, which comes packaged with the book. I've never seen this kind of packaging done before and it's a testament to Stephen's persuasion skills that he got Penguin to do it.

Next, it's a process, and a very powerful one, that can be used to usefully improve innovation teams and organizations.

Finally, it may be the most accessible personality assessment ever devised -- because it's a game, it's inherently fun. Because it's been well researched and tested, it's deeply meaningful.

There are many useful assessments out there, and some are routinely used as a part of an innovation program. The MBTI, MMPI, KAI, and the FourSight instrument are the ones I'm most familiar with, and there are others. What's different about Shapiro's new tool is that it's designed to work with the innovation process directly. Team building experts and innovation consultants have had to create their own exercises and methods to integrate the older assessments into their programs. If they use Shapiro's new assessment, they'll find that a lot of thinking has already been done for them. This "game" integrates well with innovation programs -- it plays well with others.

The real power of the book, and integrated game, is not simply reading it -- it's using it. Shapiro has made that remarkably easy to do.
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Format: Hardcover
First off I've never seen a business book that comes with it's own deck of cards so I have to admit I was curious. Personality Poker is a powerful tool that is fun to use and offers incredible insights into your own personality, the attributes of your team and your organization and gives tons of easy to implement tips. The tips not only help you better understand yourself but also focus on how to work with people that have very different attributes than you do and the importance of having a variety of styles on a team.

The writing is clear and concise and as you're reading this you uncover ways to increase your effectiveness and productivity as well as reduce the frustration you may have with working with certain personality types. If you'd like more insight into your own style, if you'd like to get your team to work better together and if you're tired of the profiling tests that have been out in the market for decades get this book, in fact I'd suggest you get a copy for everyone on your team.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most of the great business books of the last two decades, Personality Poker has a simple premise: people are different. And to work effectively inside your organization, you need to connect with them in different ways based on YOUR strengths and preferences as well as their own.

Easily on par with the greats - The One Minute Manager, Fish!, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - this book starts simple. You'll have many "IATK moments" ("I Already Knew That"). But then Shapiro delivers the zinger - how many of these A-ha insights (and the book is LOADED with them) are you ACTUALLY putting into PRACTICE?

For it is in the doing where the power lies.

The book is very positive, very encouraging, and best of all, very concrete and actionable. It's loaded with great ideas on how to connect more, lead smarter, and build relationships using the simple tools and concepts of personality poker.

As a consultant and speaker, I've seen many books bought in bulk and distributed by the thousands inside a corporate environment. I've seen CEO's force the "motivational Kool-Aid" down their employees' throats. It's not pretty.

Personality Poker, on the other hand, is a book that EVERY CEO, EVERY executive, EVERY manager, EVERY corporate insider, EVERY entrepreneur, and EVERY man and woman can learn incredible lessons from. This is a book worthy of the largest possible audience, both inside and outside corporate America. If you're going to buy a book company-wide, this is definitely the "Kool Aid" you want circulating in your hallways and absorbed into your culture. It's actionable, it's valuable, and your people will WANT to put its ideas to use immediately.

Yes, it IS that good.

Don't just read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a consultant who comes into companies to help them define, design, develop and deploy products in a smart, effective and accelerated way, I truly understand the need for great teams performing at peak potential. Of course, 9 times out of 10, when I come into a company, that high-performing team does not exist, and I have to work across the client organization to build coalitions and get people on board and engaged.

Stephen Shapiro's Personality Poker makes this part of my job a million times easier and, in my opinion, is an essential tool for any organization that needs to hone their innovation, communication and development processes into a well-oiled machine.

Playing Personality Poker is crazy fun. People give and trade cards that have adjectives on them that range from "Expert" to "Curious" to "Cheerleader" until they have the perfect hand that they feel really represents who they are. Meanwhile, their co-workers are doing the same. This card trading gives each player insight not only into how they seem themselves, but how others see them as well. Each hand can then be interpreted by Shapiro's insightful analysis of personality typing -- made up of Spades (analytical types), Diamond (the idea types), Clubs (the planner types) and Hearts (the communicator type).

What is truly amazing to me is how many "a-ha" moments occur when teammates realize what "style" they are, what "style" a co-worker is, and suddenly understand why they've been having difficulties collaborating and getting things done.

By spelling out the formula for creating high-performing teams, Shapiro has provided a tool for me to use with my clients to help get everyone on the same page in an entertaining, engaging and surprisingly accurate way.
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