Stephen Shapiro Says Stop Thinking Outside the Box – Instead, Find a Better Box

While reading through the Table of Contents for Stephen Shapiro’s latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid, readers inevitably reach this heading and do a double-take: “Don’t Think Outside the Box; Find a Better Box”. Really, who’s ever heard the box analogy challenged? Turns out that Shapiro has.

In fact, he teaches just that.

“Finding a better box is the way to go,” says Shapiro, innovation leader and author of Best Practices Are Stupid ( )

Shapiro defines a “better box” by way of quoting the writer who penned the phrase, “creativity within constraints”. Well-defined challenges are an excellent way to guide innovative efforts, because they allow employees, customers and the community to focus their energies on finding solutions that are relevant, says Shapiro ( ).

Challenge-driven approaches allow companies to assign certain things before actually investing the valuable time of employees, such as:

* Owners
* Resources
* Funding
* Evaluators
* And evaluation criteria

In his latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid, Shapiro really emphasizes this point by citing the example of two fishermen. The first casts a huge net over a huge body of water. He catches some fish, but also a shoe, gunk, and fish he never wanted to catch. But the second fisherman prepares the right rod, reel, line, leader and bait and knows exactly which fish he’s after, so he goes to the exact spot he things they are.

“This is the challenge-driven approach,” says Shapiro (sign up for his monthly Free Innovation Tips at ). “And if done correctly, establishing boundaries does not have to put constraints on innovative efforts. Jump on board with that.”

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:
Stephen Shapiro
24/7 Innovation
2001 Marina Drive
Suite 807
Quincy, MA

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