Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

It is so difficult to see our own blind spots, which is why clients hire me to help illuminate theirs. Of course that’s stating the obvious since if we could see them they wouldn’t be blind spots! So let’s call them “missed opportunities that are right in front of our noses” – or MOTARIFOON. Sadly I don’t think that acronym will catch on.

Regardless, I discovered a MOTARIFOON I’ve had for nearly 10 years. And when I saw it, I felt so foolish that it had taken me so long.

About a decade ago I created Personality Poker and have been playing this with my clients ever since. Some events are small with 20 or 30 people. But most are groups are several hundred to over a thousand people.

To play, we deal 5 cards to each person. But first I need to shuffle decks of cards; one deck for every 10 people. So for 1000 people I need to shuffle 100 decks. To complicate matters, I also need to remove the two jokers from each deck. This is a time intensive and boring process, and my hands are often cramped afterwards.

Then one day I had an epiphany. One of those aha moments, which felt more like a d’oh moment.

Instead of having the cards printed in “new deck order” (2, 3, 4, 5, etc), what if I had them printed in shuffled order without any jokers?  It’s not as though the cards need to be completely random as we aren’t gambling. In fact, in printed order I can ensure they are really mixed up so that each person gets a different range of colors, numbers, and suits. This is, for the purposes of this game, even better than true randomness.

So now, the cards I use for my speeches are specially printed in shuffled order without jokers. The cards I sell are still in new deck order.

I kick myself when I think about how much time I could have saved over the past 10 years if I had thought of this previously.

What similar aha/d’oh moments have you had in your life/business?

  1. Love it – especially as I’ve seen you do this! My favourite is how disjointed my mental maps are to navigate. My issue is that I learn the route but I don’t see how other destinations that I don’t visit consecutively are in fact adjacent. I have on more than a few occasions taken a convoluted route I know vs. a new more direct one that I don’t.

    • Stephen Shapiro says:

      Thanks for chiming in Matt. Although the shortest distance between two dots is a straight line, rarely is that the path that we take. I would argue that in most cases, we need to go off the beaten path to find the answer as it allows us to increase our peripheral vision. Thanks again!

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