Friday, October 28, 2011

Best Practices Are Stupid Author Stephen Shapiro Examines Goldilocks Principle

Innovative ideas can all too easily be classified as either too abstract or too specific. But innovator extraordinaire Stephen Shapiro shows how to begin the quest for "just right" in his latest book, "Best Practices Are Stupid".

Boston, MA, October 27, 2011 (Straight Line PR) -- When it comes to describing innovation challenges, we can learn a thing or two from Goldilocks. Creative problem solving is at its best when challenges aren't too big (broad or abstract) or too small (overly specific). Instead, problems need to be framed in a way that maximizes the likelihood of finding a solution - in other words, "just right", says innovation mastermind Stephen Shapiro.

"I think this is a nice way of putting it," says Shapiro, author of Best Practices Are Stupid ( ). "We'll never forget this innovation principle because, well, who doesn't remember Goldilocks?"

Instead of asking for new ways to increase revenue (abstract), ask employees whether there are specific markets that the company hasn't penetrated ("just right").

Or, to cite another example: Instead of simply expressing a desire to improve the educational system in England, research the root of the problem. And from there, Shapiro ( ) says, ask the question: "How do we increase parental involvement?" This is also "just right."

And "just right," at its core, is:

* More focused
* More practical
* More valuable

The Goldilocks Principle is truly a search for "just right" every time. And that's a goal worth chasing.

Entering a home belonging to three bears in the woods is not very sound thinking. But Goldilocks slept soundly. There's a lot of meaning there.

"If we adopt this same rigor when defining challenges, we too just might sleep a bit better at night, knowing a workable solution is just around the corner," says Shapiro (sign up for his monthly Free Innovation Tips at ). "So remember: Goldilocks is a great way to innovate."

The latest book by Stephen Shapiro, Best Practices Are Stupid discusses the Goldilocks Principle and other paradigm-breaking ideas, and can be found on at

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 8078970
Quincy, MA

Please contact for corrections or updates.

Stephen Shapiro
24/7 Innovation
2001 Marina Drive
Suite 8078970
Quincy, MA 02171

AuraPortal unifies the Purchases of the 180 TI Automotive companies

TI Automotive, world leader in fluid storage, carrying and delivering, has implemented the AuraPortal BPM Suite

Woburn (Boston), MA, October 27, 2011 - AuraPortal (, a global provider of Business Process Management (BPM) solutions has announced the successful implementation of TI Automotive’s Purchase Order process based on the AuraPortal BPM Suite. AuraPortal’s BPM solution will help TI Automotive more efficiently manage the volumes of purchase requests generated from all of their production centers around the world.

In this project, which has led to the first phase of implementing AuraPortal within TI Automotive, an initial process has been addressed aimed at consolidating the purchase requests operation. This process will greatly improve this function in all its centers, ensuring that the internal regulations and requirements are fulfilled using minimal human resources, and lowering operational costs.

TI Automotive is composed of approximately 180 companies distributed in three large groups: AM – Americas (USA, Mexico and Brazil), EU – Europe (Italy, UK, Poland, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and France) and AP – Asia Pacific (Australia, Korea, China, Japan and India).

Given the delocalization of the production centers, each continent has different ERP installations. Therefore diverse mechanisms have been included in the process implementation to allow for an optimum and unified management of data integration, both input (creating, modifying and deleting) and output (introduction of order data in the various ERP systems), as everything is controlled and managed from one unique process.

The aim of this process, implemented with AuraPortal, has been to manage all the multinational purchase requests and the corresponding approval circuit, with the maximum degree of automation possible; thus achieving a drastic reduction in times/costs and the elimination of errors.

The process is unique for each of the companies, meaning that all employees use the same request, however, the process presents the information, (companies, warehouses, suppliers, articles, etc.), corresponding to the appropriate company for each user starting a process. As a result, the documentation necessary for the control and administration of the order is created automatically (automatic documents of the purchase orders, control and monitoring), with the right source data and is automatically associated to the Document Management system.

About TI Automotive:
TI Automotive develops, manufactures and supplies automotive fluid storage, carrying and delivery systems.

The company has 18,500 employees at 180 locations in 27 countries, and supplies all of the world's major automobile manufacturers. Their head offices are in Warren, Michigan, USA, and in Oxford, UK. More than half of TI Automotive's business is attributable to North America.

Approximately half of the 57 million motor vehicles manufactured in the world each year rely on the breaks, fuel and/or powertrain technology of TI Automotive.

Auraportal Contacts:

Scott Rich
Skype: scott.marketingintl
Phone: +1 781-569-5940 or +1 978-808-6340

The Netherlands:
Eastern Europe:

About Aura (AuraPortal) (
AURA is a global BPMS (Business Process Management Suite) provider delivering a solution that creates, without the need of IT programming, Business Process Workflow Execution Models. AuraPortal is 100% Web-based, and is complementary to existing ERP and CRM systems.

AuraPortal has a presence in 50 countries with more than 350 customers including, among others: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Toyota, Yamaha, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), ArcelorMittal, Eletrobras, Royal KPN, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sodexo, etc., as well as many Government Agencies and Departments in several countries.

AuraPortal Headquarters are located in North America (Boston) and Europe (Holland) whereas the software development facilities are located in Spain and India.

Nina Moon
The Greater Boston
400 Trade Center - Suite 5900
Woburn, Massachusetts 01801-7472
781 569 5940

Minneapolis Sales Training Firm Launches New Mobile Sales Manager

Sales Results Fast of Minneapolis announced today the launch of their newest product called Mobile Sales Manager.

Minneapolis, MN, October 28, 2011 - Sales Results Fast of Minneapolis announced today the launch of their newest product called Mobile Sales Manager. Sales Results Fast is a sales training and consulting firm focused on maximizing the performance of your sales staff and indicates this latest product will be a powerful tool for the small business owner.

According to Rich Garvey, President of the firm, a small business owner can use this new product in place of having to take on a full time sales manager employee. They can provide everything a sales manager can to a small sales staff including training and motivation but without the added expense and risk to the business owner. “We think we have uncovered a niche in the market,” Garvey said.

Sales Results Fast knows that many small business owners have sales people but cannot afford to take on the expense and risk of a full time sales manager so they take on the management of the sales team themselves. According to Garvey, “Most small business owners are great at what they do and it is usually not managing salespeople.” He continues, “We don’t necessarily believe they should step away from sales completely because it’s too important but having an experienced professional there to train and manage could really maximize their ROI on that group of people.”

Sales Results Fast hopes to help every small business owner with sales people get the most from their team. For more on Sales Results Fast check out their website at

Rich Garvey
Sales Results Fast
711 Hennepin Ave Suite 312
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Tel: 763.498.1882
Fax: 866-515-1892

New Fixed Annuity from Security Benefit Life Insurance Company Brings Flexibility to 403(B) Marketplace

“Total Interest Annuity” Features Ability To Accept Continuing Contributions

Topeka, KS, October 26, 2011 - Security Benefit Corporation, a Guggenheim Partners Company, today announced the launch of the Total Interest Annuity issued by its subsidiary Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (SBL), SBL’s first fixed annuity product designed to accept ongoing contributions for clients’ retirement savings.

Built specifically for the 403(b) market, the Total Interest Annuity can be funded with contributions up to $16,500 annually or with IRA contributions or rollovers. The initial guaranteed crediting rate, which Security Benefit expects to be highly competitive, will be reset after 12 months and every year thereafter.

SBL hopes to incentivize clients for early saving through an attractive initial guaranteed crediting rate, boosted by a 2% bonus on all contributions or transfers in the first contract year.

“The Total Interest Annuity offers plan advisors a solution to help them with their clients’ concerns about market risk and volatility,” says Jim Mullery, President of Security Distributors, Inc., Security Benefit’s distribution company. “More importantly, launching this new-flow fixed product shows our commitment to the 403(b) space.”

Security Benefit has $38 billion in total assets under management* and partners with 27,000 licensed and appointed financial planners and representatives through a network of 700 broker/dealers. The Kansas-based firm is a leading provider of retirement plan services for more than 200,000 accounts throughout the nation, primarily in the K-12 education marketplace.

Last year, Security Benefit was purchased by a group of investors led by Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets under supervision. According to Mr. Mullery, the new Total Interest Annuity will benefit from Guggenheim’s well-regarded general account management capabilities.

"Beyond the ability to take ongoing cash flows, I think the real story of the Total Interest Annuity will be its competitive rates and safety,” says Mr. Mullery. “In an environment marked by historically low returns and high volatility, Guggenheim’s superior fixed income capabilities will offer a way for us to be out in front of the crowd. It’s an attractive solution for conservative investors looking to avoid market risk.”

According to the company, the Total Interest Annuity may be well suited for participants in the education arena who are conservative, have assets in retirement vehicles with significant market volatility, or are near retirement. Financial advisors can contact Security Benefit or a Security Benefit Regional Vice President for all related product materials, including a copy of the rates.

*As of 12/31/2010

About Security Benefit
Security Benefit, a Guggenheim Partners Company, is a leading provider of retirement plan services throughout the nation, primarily in the education marketplace, and offers a variety of compelling and customized fixed and variable annuity products. The firm’s se2 division is an award-winning and nationally recognized provider of administrative services for the insurance and financial services industry. To learn more, go to

About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners, LLC is a privately held global financial services firm. The firm provides investment management, investment banking and capital markets services as well as insurance and investment advisory solutions for institutions, corporations, governments and agencies, investment advisors, family offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New York and Chicago and serves clients from more than 25 offices in nine countries.

The Total Interest Annuity, form 5100 (2-11), is a flexible purchase payment deferred annuity issued by Security Benefit Life Insurance Company. Product features, limitations and availability may vary by state. Guarantees provided by annuities are subject to the financial strength of the issuing insurance company. Not a deposit. Not FDIC or NCUA/NCUSIF insured. Not insured by any federal government agency.

Laura Parsons
One Security Benefit Place
Topeka, KS 66636-0001