Stephen Shapiro

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Best-Selling Author and Leading Authority on Creativity & Innovation

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3 Video(s) By This Presenter

Stephen Shapiro
Boaty Mcboatface- Keynote Clip
Questions That To Lead Innovation

6 Programs By This Presenter

What if your organization had an effective and systematic approach to deal with any problem or opportunity?

To find better solutions, you need to first ask better questions. The questions you ask determine which solutions you’ll see and which will remain hidden.

This interactive keynote contains a very simple tool to reframe any problem multiple ways: twenty-five lenses that help you gain different perspectives. Packed with powerful stories and practical tools, this speech will enable everyone on your teams to start mastering any challenge.

This keynote/workshop will help the audience…

  • discover why we are hardwired to ask ineffective questions and how to work through those barriers
  • understand the power and importance of well-defined questions
  • reframe any problem multiple ways to help you find the optimal solution

During this customizable and interactive keynote, the audience will not just leave with new concepts, they will have powerful tools they can apply every day.

For longer sessions, teams will have a chance to apply the twenty-five lenses. Not only does this leave people with a deeper understanding, but you also will capture valuable insights that the company can use. This can be done with audiences of any size.

This enlightening experience brings to life the concept in Stephen Shapiro’s latest award winning book, Invisible Solutions.

To get the most from your innovation efforts, you need to know how to choose where to place your bets. If you try to be great at everything, you’ll be great at nothing. The key is to define and refine your differentiator – the reason why customers do business with you and not someone else. This practical and powerful keynote (or workshop) helps teams get clarity around what makes them special and then gives them the tools to use that to prioritize investments.

The two key frameworks people learn are:

  • The 5Ds of Differentiation – Your differentiator needs to be Distinctive, Desirable, Durable, Disruption-Proof, and Disseminated to have long-lasting impact. You will leave the session on a clear roadmap for defining your differentiation strategy.
  • The Innovation Targeting Matrix – This simple model helps organizations drive tenfold improvements on their innovation ROI

You will discover that being different is not the same as being differentiated.

Armed with these tools, everyone in your organization will gain clarity on how to prioritize their time so that each and every person makes the greatest impact. The goal is to innovate where you differentiate.

Read his Harvard Business Review article, “Do You Know What Makes Your Company Distinctive?” to learn more on his perspectives on differentiation.

All participants receive access to a digital portal with a variety of materials, including 4 pages of questions they can ask customers to clarify their differentiator. You don’t just leave this session with new insights; you leave with the tools necessary to turn the concepts into reality.

NOTE: This speech is the topic of his next book which will be released October 2023.

Create Your Best Innovation Culture

You’ve decided to invest in innovation.

You have a team of innovators ready to change your culture.

Now where do you begin?

Stephen’s presentation, consisting of content from his best-selling book, Best Practices are Stupid, is specifically designed for individuals tasked with making innovation a reality in your organization. Throughout this impressive presentation, Stephen will address a wide range of issues such as:

  • Why failure is bad but experimentation is good
  • How to measure innovation to ensure you are innovating efficiently
  • What organization structures help push innovation to the lowest levels of the organization
  • How to identify your organization’s differentiator and its impact on innovation
  • How to motivate everyone in the organization to participate in innovation
  • How to maximize your innovation ROI with a challenge-centered approach“Innovation for Innovators” provides the basics and the specifics necessary for any company to create a pervasive culture of innovation.

Don’t Let Your Innovation Potential Fall Short

Contrary to conventional wisdom, opposites do not attract. As a result, in business, we tend to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. Although this is great for efficiency, this lack of diversity can kill innovation.

How can you increase your innovation potential? Play Personality Poker® with Stephen Shapiro! This fast-paced, highly interactive game will help you discover:

  • Your primary innovation personality
  • Your innovation blind spots
  • Why the person you like the least is the person you need the most
  • What is missing from your team that is limiting innovation and success
  • How to create a high-performing innovation team that leverages divergent points of viewThis is the most interactive keynote you will ever experience and has been done with audiences of more than 1,000 people in a Vegas casino! Be ready for an incredible way to kick off your conference as it will set the tone for the rest of your event!

Quit Thinking Outside the Box—Find a Better Box

Well-intentioned leaders, in their attempts to boost innovation, are inadvertently destroying it. What if “thinking outside the box” actually kills innovation? What if failure is not a necessary component of innovation? It’s time to innovate the way you innovate.

During this customizable and interactive keynote, you will discover that innovation isn’t just about generating occasional new ideas; it’s about staying consistently one step ahead of the competition. This enlightening experience brings to life the concept in Stephen Shapiro’s latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid.

You will discover why:

You don’t want to innovate everywhere. Avoid trying to improve every aspect of your business. Instead, “innovate where you differentiate.” Focus your energy where there is the greatest potential impact.

Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Avoid suggestion boxes or abstract questions. They create a lot of noise and wasted energy. Instead, provide well-framed challenges to increase creative output. “Don’t think outside the box, find a better box.”

Expertise is the enemy of innovation. Breakthroughs are rarely developed by experts within your industry or area of specialization. Instead, reframe your challenge to find solutions elsewhere.

The pragmatic approaches shared in “Innovate the Way You Innovate” have increased innovation ROI tenfold or more.

We live in challenging times. Inflation. Supply chain disruptions. Pandemics. War. Talent shortages.

Given this level of uncertainty,  we need a different approach for innovation. When you can’t predict what will happen next, traditional long-term investment strategies fail.

The key to being nimble during these turbulent times is to focus on placing many small bets – rather than a few large ones.

But what bets do you place? Which bets should you kill? And when should you double down? Answering these questions is the key to success.

During this interactive session, you will discover:

  • How to place better (more frequent yet smaller) bets
  • How to determine which bets are not worth further investment (experimentation)
  • How to avoid failure – and what to do when you do fail
  • How to create a culture of experimentation – quickly and inexpensively

We also have fun with a simple gambling simulation that demonstrates how we can lower our risk with our bets. The key is getting as many insights about the future, for the lowest possible investment.

This practical session will not only give everyone the tools and mindset for creating small experiments, but also will leave them with specific actions they can take within the next seven days to make progress with their innovation efforts.

The concepts are so simple to implement that companies can create an entire culture around experimentation with little effort, time, or cost.

The “small bets” approach demonstrated during this session are truly a game changer for any organization of any size.


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“Stephen’s passion for innovation is infectious. His mandate to focus innovation relentlessly on well-articulated problems has caused an internal shift in mindset and approach for our innovators. Personality Poker is a thought-provoking and fun approach to understanding and leveraging diversity. Stephen delivers both in a way that is truly inspirational and actionable.”

— Procter & Gamble

“Stephen brought incredible energy and highly relevant messages that made it possible for us to rethink our innovation principles and extend them to our customer-facing functions. His thought provoking insights pushed us to re-examine our mental models and spark new ideas for innovation with and for our customers. Stephen has a fun and highly infectious style and could be an asset to any organization trying to make innovation a reality.”

— 3M

“Stephen Shapiro, according to the evaluation forms, was among the best in a strong roster of speakers at our 2013 Innovation Master Class Conference held at 3M’s Innovation Center. The positive written-in comments further reflected the value that our sold-out crowd of innovation leaders received. His style is interactive while delivering practical but unique perspectives, which challenge all to new thinking. Personal stories of professional experiences add the measure of ‘memorability’ that helped the stickiness and authenticity of the messages as well. We are delighted to work with Stephen and thought we should share a few verbatims from those forms: ‘very entertaining but more importantly extremely informative and thought provoking’, ‘highlight of the conference for me’ and ‘excellent, energetic’.”

— The Conference Board

Bringing you into 3M is one of those career highlights for me. Our leadership team STILL talks about you and references things they learned.”

— Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, 3M

“Stephen knows how to energize a room and get the creative juices flowing. The only other way to describe it is…magic.”

— Manager, Sales Learning & Development, Delta Airlines

“When Stephen steps on the stage, he’s like a bolt of lightning.”

— CEO, WorldBlu Inc.

“Stephen Shapiro is the best presenter of ideas since Tom Peters.”

— Former Writer, Business Week
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