Stephen Shapiro

Innovation Evangelist
Quincy, Massachusetts

What Stephen is Passionate About

Innovate the Way You Innovate: Increasing Innovation ROI Tenfold 

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 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 educational 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.” Focuses 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.

This keynote is customized to address the specific topics of greatest interest to your audience.

Personality Poker: Creating High Performing Innovation Teams 

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? Come play poker with author Stephen Shapiro. While playing this fast-paced, highly interactive game, you will discover:

– Your primary innovation style and your innovation blind spots

– Why the person you like the least is the person you need the most

– How to create a high-performing innovation team that leverages divergent points of view

This is the most interactive keynote you will ever experience. And we have done it with audiences as large as 1,000 people. This is an incredible way to kick off your conference as it will set the tone for the rest of your event.

Creating a Pervasive Culture of Innovation: Innovation for Innovators 

You’ve decided to invest in innovation. You have a team of innovators ready to change your culture. But where do you begin? This presentation is designed specifically for individuals tasked with making innovation a reality in your organization. We 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

The “Innovate the Way You Innovate” presentation provides the basics. This presentation provides the specifics necessary for any company to create a pervasive culture of innovation.

Making the Impossible Possible: Creative Thinking for Front-Line Employees 

Are you looking for a presentation that will help everyone in your organization be more creative? If so, this is the presentation for you. We use a number of different techniques that will increase the quality of solutions you receive from each and every employee.

Making the impossible possible. This fun technique has its roots in magic and is fundamentally different than how most people solve problems.

Make connections. Most people solve problems through their “expertise” lens. But this limits potential solutions. Instead find someone else who has solved a similar problem.

Predict what the competition will do. A good source of creative inspiration is to look at what you fear your competition will do…and then beat them to the punch.

Speaker’s Corner. Inspired by Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London, this technique is a free-market approach to developing solutions. It is fast, fun, and wildly efficient.

Why You Need Stephen

Stephen Shapiro cultivates innovation by showing leaders and their teams how to approach, tackle and solve their business challenges. Applying the knowledge he has accrued over decades in the industry, Stephen is able to see what others can’t: opportunities to improve innovation models and the cultures that support them.

The first innovation opportunity Stephen spotted was the opportunity to innovate within his own life. Halfway through his 15-year tenure at Accenture, while leading the company’s business process reengineering practice, he realized he no longer wanted to be responsible for people losing their jobs. So he did exactly the opposite by building Accenture’s thriving 20,000-person process and innovation practice focused on growth and job creation.

In 2001, after publishing his first book, 24/7 Innovation, Stephen left Accenture to become a full-time innovation speaker and advisor to clients around the world. Since then he has published four books – Goal-Free Living (2006), The Little Book of Big Innovation Ideas (2007), Personality Poker (2010) and Best Practices are Stupid (2011) — and spoken to audiences in over 40 different countries.

Today, Stephen continues to focus on transforming the way businesses like 3M, P&G, Marriott, Nike, and Microsoft to improve innovation practices through customized and keynote speeches, advisory engagements and other services. Passionate and captivating, Stephen’s high-energy approach to innovation gets audiences out of their seats and into new ways of thinking about their business challenges.

Stephen is currently on the Board of Directors of National Speakers Association (NSA) and is the recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, NSA’s highest earned designation.

Stephen is based in Boston, Massachusetts and loves traveling to meet his clients around the world.

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Why You Will Love Stephen

“Thank you so much for a terrific job. You received the highest scores in both content and presentation skills.”

Carrier Logistics Inc.

“Feedback from those who attended your presentation has been phenomenal.”

Laurie White
President, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce

“I’m delighted to report that the expectations of this year’s conference were by far exceeded on every front. This is due in no small part to your special contribution to the program.”

Joe Cleveland
President, Lockheed Martin Enterprise Information Systems

“Your engaging and dynamic presentation style have set a new standard for keynote speakers for years to come.”

Paul Ostergaard
CEO, ShipServ

“When he was done, he received a standing ovation – unusual for our group. I highly recommend Stephen as a speaker.”

Victoria Cliche
Executive Director, Creative Education Foundation

“Thank you so much for a terrific job. You received the highest scores in both content and presentation skills.”

Ken Weinberg
Vice President, Carrier Logistics Inc.

“Thank you for a fabulously thought provoking presentation”

Anthony Priest
President, Harvard Business School Club of Washington, DC

“Wow! Participants were amazed at how many new creativity and innovation techniques they learned in just an hour”

Karl LaPan
President, Northeast Indiana Innovation Centre

“You were one of the most dynamic, engaging, and energizing speakers we’ve ever had!”

Margarita Rozenfeld
CEO, Yes! Circle

“Our customers loved you! You received both a standing ovation and the highest marks of any speaker.”

Diana Grimberg
Maconomy, Denmark

“Your creative talents and inspiring presentation made for our most memorable meeting”

Fidelity Investments

“I would highly recommend Stephen to any organization who is serious about making innovation a reality.”

Dan Kaus
Workshops Brand Manager, BP Lubricants

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

Traci Fenton
CEO, WorldBlu Inc.

“I give Stephen Shapiro my highest recommendation as a speaker on the topic of innovation. I would strongly recommend him to any organization.”

Julie Meringer
Former Managing Director, Forrester Research Inc.

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

Michael Johnson
Former Writer, Business Week


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