October 31, 2014

Innovation & Breakthrough Thinking, with Stephen Shapiro

Breakthrough thinking is the topic of discussion on the 41st episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast. We talk four great ways to make breakthroughs when you find yourself stuck in neutral, why “expertise is the enemy of innovation,” and what we can all learn from magicians about the kind of mindset necessary for breakthrough thinking.

Best-selling author Stephen Shapiro joins us to discuss those topics and more on the podcast. Stephen has worked with companies like 3M, Procter & Gamble, Marriott, Nike, and Microsoft to bolster their innovation practices. His fifth and most recent book is titled Best Practices are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition. It was named the best innovation and creativity book of 2011 and is an international #1 business best seller. Stephen is also the author of Personality Poker, The Little Book of Big Innovation Ideas, Goal-Free Living, and 24/7 Innovation.

Among the networks and publications Stephen he has appeared on or in are CNBC, CBS, ABC, USA Today, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. During his 15-year career at Accenture, he led a 20,000-person innovation practice. You can find out more about him on his website at stephenshapiro.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @stephenshapiro.

Here are some of the highlights of this week’s episode:

  • We talk the definition of breakthrough thinking, which Stephen says is innovation that “is not predictable based on the past”
  • Stephen talks about how neural pathways that get hard-wired into our brains stand in the way of breakthrough thinking
  • Stephen shares an anecdote of how crowdsourcing and breakthrough thinking solved in 6 weeks a problem that had plagued a team cleaning up the Exxon Valdez oil spill for 20 years
  • We talk about purposeful tangents – the concept of taking a certain percentage of your time and learning about things associated to your main area of expertise but not directly related

Listen to the Episode

Interested in hearing more? Tune in to the full episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast via the SoundCloud embed below.



You can also download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on iTunes or tune in via the podcast’s home on Stitcher Radio to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.