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Ask a Different Question, Get a Different Answer

March 30, 2012

Stephen M Shapiro Linkage Thought Leader SeriesTrue innovators know that organizations who continue to rely on traditional innovation methods will ultimately fail.

In his latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, Stephen Shapiro busts the many myths that surround innovation. His message is clear: Innovation isn’t about the occasional new idea. Instead of giving your employees a blank slate, provide them with well-defined parameters that will increase their creative output. Define challenges more clearly. Ask better questions and you will get better answers. In the following post, Stephen Shapiro uses a simple exercise to illustrate his point:

“Today I want to test your mental muscle with an activity I conduct with my clients.

If you are a college sports fan, you will most likely be familiar with the NCAA basketball playoffs. 65 teams in total compete. The games are organized into brackets. Teams compete with the hope of making it into the “sweet sixteen,” the “final four,” and then ultimately being crowned the champion. The tournament is single elimination–that means that after each game, the winner advances to the next round and the loser is eliminated.

With the NCAA tournament, the two lowest ranking teams compete against each other to get the 64th slot in the bracket.

The question is, “How many games need to be played in order to determine which team is the champion?”

For the answer, read Stephen’s full post.

Tune in to Stephen’s live broadcast with us on How to Out-Innovate the Competition on April 18.


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NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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