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This article was published on April 23, 2015

Watch now: How to be a ninja innovator

Watch now: How to be a ninja innovator
Eva Novotna
Story by

Eva Novotna

Eva Novotna is TNW’s video platform editor and part of our marketing team. Eva Novotna is TNW’s video platform editor and part of our marketing team.

We’ve just added Gary Shapiro’s talk from TNW Europe Conference 2013 to our TNW Video site and you can watch it right now for free. (BTW, TNW Video is also hosting live video coverage of TNW Europe Conference 2015).

Do you know what children and companies have in common? They should be taught how to be a ninja.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of  the Consumer Electronics Association, thinks that the characteristics of ancient Japanese ninjas can also be applied to companies that want to be innovative and successful. Ninjas didn’t carry weapons, yet they still succeeded against great odds. They were flexible, responded quickly to changing circumstances, they were adaptable and thought outside the box.

Shapiro also embraces the importance of failure. As a business, failure is an important learning experience and by not acknowledging it, we are losing a lot of learning ground. He thinks that in this regard, Americans are doing well because they value failure as a learning experience.

Ninjas also valued different skillsets. Today, when hiring, it is important to select people are different from you, which goes against the natural desire to pick people that are same as you. At the same time, Shapiro thinks people don’t change, so it is important to be aware of one’s weak points as there is not much space for improvement.

How can your company can be more ninja-like? And what technologies does Shapiro think are going to be a big deal in the future? Watch the video to find out.

Watch more TNW Conference videos right now at TNW Video.