"Dave has gravitas, knowledge, experience and clarity which combine into a great speaker. Lego is an excellent case study on innovation management and a valued source of inspiration"
-British Sky Broadcasting Group
"He literally woke everyone up to re-imagine how to apply the innovation dicta that we have heard before. Not only was his insight and content rich, he entertained the audience with one of the best-received presentations of the conference"
-PDMA Annual Global Conference
David Robertson joined the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. He teaches Innovation and Product Development in Wharton’s undergraduate, MBA, and executive education programs. From 2002 through 2010, Robertson was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Switzerland’s prestigious Institute for Management Development (IMD).
At IMD, Robertson was the Co-Director of the school’s largest executive education program, the Program for Executive Development. He has also directed programs for Credit Suisse, EMC, HSBC, Skanska, BT, and other leading European companies. Prior to IMD, David was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a consultant at McKinsey & Company for 5 years, and an executive at four enterprise software companies. David received his MBA and PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management and BS from the University of Illinois.
David’s research interests are in innovation management – how companies can get more from their innovation investments. He has published in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and many other journals.
David Robertson is the co-author of:
OFFICIAL BIO [PDF]
Just eight years ago, The LEGO Group was running out of cash and near bankruptcy. Many of its innovation efforts were unprofitable or had failed outright. But today, LEGO’s revenues and profits are soaring in a declining toy market. Over the past three years, LEGO has grown sales by 25% per year, and profits at twice that rate.
What is the secret of LEGO’s dramatic turnaround? David studied The LEGO Group and discovered how its managers changed the ways they managed innovation. In this interactive lecture, Robertson will explain how LEGO turned itself around from a failing venture to the healthiest, most profitable and fastest-growing company in the toy industry.
Managers are bombarded with dozens of theories for how to manage innovation. These theories all promise growth and profits, but the actual results are less positive. Using the case study of LEGO, this session will explore how to manage innovation across a company. In 2003, LEGO almost went bankrupt. LEGO’s managers had followed the advice of experts – “head for blue ocean”, “practice disruptive innovation”, “open innovation”, “develop the full spectrum of innovation” – and that advice almost led them to ruin. In one of the most successful turnarounds in modern business history, LEGO restructured its innovation management system and saved the company. Today, LEGO is the most profitable and fastest growing company in the toy industry, growing sales at 24% and profits at 45% per year every year for the past four years. The goal of this session is tell the LEGO story and the lessons to be learned about how to lead and govern innovation across a large company.
David Robertson is co-author (with Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill from MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research) of the book Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution. Using data from a survey of over 150 companies and case examples from leading companies such as ING DIRECT, 7-Eleven Japan, Toyota, and Cemex, Robertson will show why IT is often a barrier to strategy execution, and how companies can design and implement a new architecture that improves agility, lowers costs, and increases profitability and growth.
TAGS: Innovation, Strategy, Technology