Stephen Shapiro






For over 20 years, Stephen Shapiro has presented his provocative strategies on innovation, collaboration, and disruption to audiences in 50 countries. During his 15-year tenure with the consulting firm Accenture, he led a 20,000-person innovation practice. He is the author of five books, including Best Practices Are Stupid, which was named the best innovation book of the year and is a #1 international best seller. His Personality Poker® system has been used in 23 countries around the world to create high-performing innovation teams. In 2015, he was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame. He was also recently a judge and mentor on the TLC innovation reality television show, “Girl Starter.”

Stephen 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 more books on the topic of innovation and creativity.

Today, Stephen continues to focus on transforming the way organizations like 3M, P&G, Marriott, Nike, NASA, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft improve innovation practices through customized 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.

Keynote Presentations

Innovate the Way You Innovate: 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.”

Personality Poker: 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 view. This 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!

Innovation for Innovators: 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 keynote 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.
Making the Impossible Possible: Enhance Creativity in Your Organization

Innovation isn’t just for innovators! It’s for everyone. This interactive keynote – which can be done with any size audience and is relevant to everyone – shares a number of practical techniques that anyone in your organization can use. For example, it can help: sales reps develop new and better ways of closing the deal; marketers create more compelling and persuasive campaigns; IT develop better technology more rapidly with lower risk; HR professionals better engage employees and improve performance management; and manufacturing reduce costs and improve quality. Everyone be more productive and better at solving your business challenges.

Stephen Shapiro Testimonials

“The success of your presentation began long before you stepped in front of the audience. You delivered much more than a speech; you delivered lasting results. I would highly recommend you to any organizations who is serious about making innovation a reality.”

Daniel Kaus, BP Lubricants

“His talk exceeded our already high expectations. Several audience members said out loud, ‘this is so perfect’ as he was speaking. When he was done he received a standing ovation, unusual for our group.’’

Victoria Cliche, Executive Director, Creative Education Foundation

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

Jacob Morris, Manager, Sales Learning & Development, Delta Airlines

“Personality Poker is a simple yet extremely effective tool for understanding personality mixes and their impact on driving or blocking innovation.”

Andrew Bushell, Former Head of Innovation, Novartis Consumer Health

“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. Stephen delivers both in a way that is truly inspirational and actionable.”

Laurie Heltsley, Director of Innovation and Strategic Projects, Procter & Gamble

“Your interactive presentation captivated the audience and received great feedback from attendees.”

Steve Craft, Deputy Director of Strategic Relations Office, NASA

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

Traci Fenton, CEO, WorldBlu Inc.

“Steve Shapiro’s Personality Poker is a seriously fun way to wrap our heads around our own and others’ work styles. Understanding leads to improved communication, appropriate expectations, and better work.”

Jack Covert, retired President of 800-CEO- READ, published in his

“Very entertaining, but more importantly, extremely informative and thought provoking.”

Mary Beth Reidy, Executive Director, The Conference Board

“Your presentation was intellectually witty and captivating. You provided the audience with a relevant and timely prescription for identifying extraordinary solutions to well-defined questions.”

Colleen Barros, Deputy Director for Management, National Institutes of Health

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

Deb Byers, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, 3M

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

Michael Johnson, former Writer, Business Week

“Enjoyed working with Stephen and found his knowledge of innovation, conversational style and delivery smooth and effective. He’s a great evangelist for innovation gifted at simplifying complex principles so they are easily assimilated and put into practice.”

Matthew Von Ertfelda, Innovation Lead, Marriott, Insight, Strategy and Innovation Team

“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. Stephen has a fun and highly infectious style and could be an asset to any organization trying to make innovation a reality.”

Robin Torgerson, Vice President of U.S. Sales Excellence, 3M

“The audience loved you and the feedback was amazingly positive. Just to give you an idea of how positive it was, during IndustryWeek’s webcasts (which we typically do once a week) and all of our online conferences, we collect data on a lot of these same questions. The presenter rating you received, 4.52, was one of the highest of all time. We’ve only seen maybe a dozen speakers (out of 250+ presenters we’ve tracked since 2005) surpass the 4.0 mark, so to see a number above 4.5 is wonderful.”

IndustryWeek Magazine

“Our Personality Poker 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, Chevron, Innovation Operations

“Personality Poker is both enlightening and engaging. It’s a great exercise for any organization to inject some excitement while learning how to create functional teams.”

Tom Morgan, General Manager of Innovation & Process Improvement, Voith Industrial Services

“Steve exemplifies innovation in his personality and how he approaches life, work and others. I would strongly recommend him to any person or organization looking to instill these attributes in their life or work.”

Julie Meringer, Vice President, Forrester Research