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Stephen Shapiro

Stephen’s career started after he earned a degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University. His focus was on improving manufacturing productivity. Although Stephen didn’t know it at the time, this was the perfect field of study for the work he would eventually do.

Right out of college, Stephen joined Arthur Andersen’s Management Consulting Division (now Accenture, the global management consulting firm). His first big career opportunity came in 1993, when he helped run thier Business Process Reengineering practice. This optimization work was a natural build on Stephen’s industrial engineering work. Instead of improving manufacturing productivity, they focused on improving business productivity.

After a few years of promoting this work, he experienced an existential crisis when he realized that their process improvement work had led to massive downsizing. During a leave of absence, Stephen evaluated what he wanted to do with his life and he realized he wanted to help companies grow. And, since 1996, innovation has been his focus.

Stephen was lucky to be given the opportunity to lead a twenty thousand-person process and innovation practice. He gave speeches and workshops to consultants and clients around the world, promoting their perspectives on innovation.

In 2001, he made another shift: he wrote my first book, 24/7 Innovation: A Blueprint for Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Change (McGraw-Hill), left Accenture, and branched out on his own.

Since then, he has written six books. Stephen’s previous book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition (Portfolio Penguin) was named the best innovation and creativity book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ. Personality Poker®️ (Portfolio Penguin), which is both a book and a card game, has been used in twenty-five countries around the world to create high-performing innovation teams.

Stephen has had the great luxury of traveling the world, giving speeches in more than fifty countries. And, in 2015, he was bestowed one of the highest honors of the speaking profession: he was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame.

When Stephen’s not speaking on stage, he practices his not-so-sleight-of-hand magic on his family and friends. Amongst his greatest celebrity coups, Stephen had the pleasure of meeting his childhood idol, former Gong Show host Chuck Barris. And in 2017, he got to be a judge and mentor on the TLC innovation reality television show, Girl Starter.

Stephen now lives in Orlando, Florida, where he gets to enjoy the most amazing life with his wife.

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