Author Archives: Stephen Shapiro


TopCoder is one of the best-kept secrets in open innovation. Their approach to open innovation is distinctive; something I have not seen elsewhere. I have to say, it’s all quite impressive.

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Posted in Competitions, Innovation, collaboration | Leave a comment

The other day I was speaking with a CEO who wanted me to help facilitate a conversation around the crafting of the company’s purpose statement. I asked her, “Why do you want to do this?” Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Culture & Values, Innovation, Leadership, Management | 1 Comment
Design to Handle the Exception - Not for the Exception

While going through security at the airport the other day, I was reminded of an important design and innovation concept… Continue reading

Posted in Build Capability, Business Models, Customers, Design, Innovation, Processes & Tools, Service | 1 Comment
Lessons of Pawn Stars

Yes, you read that correctly. PAWN Stars. This reality television show on The History Channel chronicles a pawn shop outside of Las Vegas. I enjoy the show because of the history associated with the pieces that are brought in for sale. In addition to rifles from the revolutionary war and antique political documents, people bring in some unusual items like old videos games, dilapidated cars, and various novelty items. Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Innovation, Strategy | Leave a comment
Ideas, Ideas Everywhere

There’s an old tale that goes… Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. Inside of organizations, there’s a corollary… Ideas, ideas every where, Nor any one can think. Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management | Leave a comment
Finding Innovation Help Next Door

One of my favorite topics is to discuss how breakthroughs are generated by looking for someone who has solved a similar problem in a different space. Some examples I talk about in my Best Practices Are Stupid books are… Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Open Innovation, collaboration | 4 Comments
Are you asking the right question?

This simple exercise makes an incredibly important point. The way you phrase a problem will lead you down the path of a particular thought process. This, in turn will lead to a particular solution. How you ask the question will impact the manner in which you innovate. Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Psychology, Strategy | 3 Comments