Stephen Shapiro Shows How To Avoid “One-Hit Wonder” Syndrome in “Best Practices Are Stupid”

We’ve all heard about Lipps Inc, The Sugar Hill Gang, and Haddaway – for precisely one song each. That’s right, they were bands. And they sang Funky Town, Rapper’s Delight, and What is Love (respectively). These bands and songs all have one thing in common: they were one-hit wonders.

“This one-hit syndrome must be avoided in the world of innovation,” says innovation leader Stephen Shapiro, author of Best Practices Are Stupid ( ). “We must be very mindful of the five components required for successful avoidance of one-hit wonders.”

Those five components – detailed in his book – are:

* Strategy
* Measures
* Process
* People
* Technology

“The ‘one hit wonder’ syndrome is not dissimilar to what happens with many businesses,” Shapiro says (sign up for his monthly Free Innovation Tips at ). “One good idea pops up that reaps stellar returns… and then the organization falls from grace.”

How can business leaders dodge this syndrome? By making sure that innovation energies are predictable and sustainable, treating them like any other capability in the company.

In his new book, Best Practices Are Stupid, Shapiro ( ) offers as an example how finance departments operate (CPAs, CFOs, etc.) and suggests using this structure for innovation. This is vital to avoiding the ‘one hit wonder’ syndrome.

Innovation must be brought out of the recesses of research and development departments, and placed directly in the limelight of organizations along with other highly esteemed areas.

“It’s time to bring it to the forefront of business – putting it on the same level as finance, sales and marketing,” Shapiro explains. “To restrain innovation limits its effectiveness to near nothingness. Treat innovation like you would other departments, and chances are it’s going to treat your organization better than you could have ever imagined.”

About Stephen Shapiro:
Stephen Shapiro is one of the foremost authorities on innovation and collaboration, and has personally touched hundreds of thousands of lives in over 40 countries. While Stephen’s insights apply to virtually any organization, big or small, he has contributed to shifting the innovation culture for such Fortune 500 organization as Staples, GE, BP, Johnson & Johnson, Fidelity Investments, Pearson Education, Nestle, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. As the founder and creator of a 20,000 person internal innovation practice within Accenture, and advisor to hundreds of organizations worldwide, Stephen possesses a rare and extensive arsenal of tools, allowing him to arm any organization with the knowledge they need to shift their most threatening challenges.

Stephen can be reached at 617-379-1177 or online at

Press Contact:
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Quincy, MA

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