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Sept. 7, 2022

WALL36: Building a Distinct, Durable and Differentiated Business with Stephen Shapiro

WALL36:  Building a Distinct, Durable and Differentiated Business with Stephen Shapiro

What is the purpose of your organization? Why does it exist?

Watch our conversation on YouTube!

I'm not sure about you but sometimes I will say that I want and need change, but more often than not, what ends up happening is we run away from it, afraid of the risks it might bring to our life and/or business.  Hey, that's normal! We're wired towards survival.

But as our guest today says, past success isn’t really a great predictor of future success but a great predictor of future failure. That's why we need to value innovation.


Stephen Shapiro cultivates innovation by showing leaders and their teams how to approach, tackle, and solve their business challenges. The first innovation opportunity Stephen spotted was the opportunity to innovate within his own life.

He left Accenture after publishing his first book, “24/7 Innovation”, to become a full-time innovation speaker and advisor to clients around the world. Stephen continues to work with transforming businesses to improve innovation practices through customized keynotes, speeches, advisory engagements, and other services. He has a degree from Cornell University in Industrial Engineering and is based out of Orlando, Florida.

Back in 2020, the mid-pandemic, Stephen really helped me figure out what to do next with my business. I heard him chat with Jenny Blake on the Pivot Podcast and he talked about innovation as staying relevant.


I think with all the constant changes in our world, it’s so important to consider how you can and your business remain relevant, and that is through the process of innovation. Tune in as Stephen dives into the details today. 



In this conversation, you’ll hear Stephen discuss:

  • What is it that makes your business distinct, what is it that you offer, and how is that durable so that it will stand the test of time and others can’t copy it
  • His sixth book, “Invisible Solutions
  • What we actually really think about creativity in terms of our subconscious
  • How far do you consult when it comes to innovation and getting solutions
  • Focusing on great questions instead of rushing to solutions


Conversation moments:

(00:00:03) Episode snippet

(00:00:56) Introducing today’s guest, Stephen Shapiro

(00:03:25) What led Stephen to the work he does today

(00:05:21) Eyes on the future, not back in the past

(00:06:42) What is it that makes you distinctive?

(00:08:40) Innovation as a value + relevance as the key to innovation

(00:11:26) Data from the Implicit Association Test + Innovation in executives

(00:14:52) Stephen’s thoughts on the one-day design sprint

(00:16:33) It’s all in the framing of the problem where real value comes from

(00:19:15) We ask questions to validate our belief but that isn’t really effective

(00:22:29) From zero to 20,000 people in nine months

(00:25:52) Clarity drives efficiency: What’s next for Stephen

(00:30:02) Rapid Round

(00:33:41) Connect with Stephen Shapiro



Connect with Stephen here:

Stephen’s website

Stephen on Facebook

Stephen on Twitter

Stephen on YouTube

Stephen on LinkedIn



Rapid Round Recommendations:

  • Book: Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Tool/App: Zoho
  • Song: “Make Me Smile” by Chicago
  • Quote: “If I had an hour to save the world, I’d spend 59 minutes defining the problem, one minute finding solutions.” – Einstein
  • Quote: “It’s not what you know that gets you into trouble; it's what you don’t know that ain't so.” – Will Rogers




Click here for show notes and to subscribe to Leanne Hughes' Work and Live Large podcast.