Posts tagged "Performance Paradox"

Although we’ve been told that goals are a key to success, what if goal-setting actually reduces performance? Many years back I worked with a Formula One racing team. At that time, pit crews consisted of 19 guys who serviced the ultrafast, high-tech race– refueling cars, changing tires, and performing required maintenance in a matter of […]

When you are on autopilot, you are highly efficient. But when the rules change around you, this can lead to disaster…. I lived in London for several years. Before moving to England, I considered myself to be an excellent driver. But I quickly learned that some simple changes could make it difficult to operate a […]

Today I am thrilled to share with you a 45 minute conversation between me and Oliver Burkeman, the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. I met Oliver several years ago. We got connected through a book review he did back in 2007 for the Guardian newspaper in England. He […]

Think about this problem. You run an airport.  It takes on average 8 minutes for luggage to go from plane to baggage claim.  Customers can walk to baggage claim in one minute, resulting in 7 minutes of impatient waiting.  Complaints are high. What do you do? Conventional wisdom says, speed up the process.  Use more […]

The second half of my interview with Vern Burkhardt from IdeaConnection was recently posted. Here are the first few paragraphs of this much longer interview. “We can conclude that creativity is about being present, just as pit crews changing the tires on a Formula 1 car need to be present.” Stephen Shapiro Vern Burkhardt (VB): […]

In my previous blog entry, I discussed how goals can either enhance or detract from performance. Over the years, I have written numerous articles on “The Performance Paradox” that show how an obsession with the future reduces performance in the present.  And typically, creativity is significantly diminished in the process. But given that businesses are […]

People who play Personality Poker tell me that they love its simplicity.  But what they find most amazing is how this simple “game” can generate profound insights. During a recent event, one participant commented that she learned more about herself and her team in 15 minutes than she had in her previous 15 years. In […]

Although I have written about this many times before on this blog, we have created a formal article on “The Performance Paradox.”  This is part of an eBook being published by 21 professional speakers. You can find this, and a dozen other articles in my “innovation articles” section of the website.

Every year at this time, Chuck Frey at asks experts/readers for the most important lesson learned during 2007 regarding innovation, creativity or brainstorming. Here is my response: Over the past couple of years, I have observed something I call “The Performance Paradox.” This paradox looks at the relationship between motivation (goals, targets, and management) […]

At a recent workshop on creativity, I discussed “the performance paradox” – the concept that trying harder produces poorer results. Afterwards, one executive in the audience came up to me and told me his own story.  He said… “When I was a kid, I went to summer camp.  One of our daily activities was swimming.  […]

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