Speeches and Workshops

david robertson


Book David to Give a Speech or Workshop
Robertson is available for a broad range of possible activities, from an entertaining 30 minute speech to an engaging and active 2-day innovation workshop, and anything in-between. The following is a sampling of some content from his speehes. Whether you choose a speech or a workshop, the time spent will be energizing, challenging, enlightening, and fun.

Innovation Management – The LEGO Story
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.

The Third Way to Innovate – Innovating Around the Core
Much of the business press focuses on big, world-changing innovations—innovations that will “disrupt” industries, lead companies to “blue oceans,” and revolutionize markets. But CarMax, LEGO, ING Direct, and others show that there’s a different, lower-risk path to innovation success. Instead of betting big on risky, unproven ideas, these companies put together portfolios of tightly coordinated complementary innovations. Individually, each innovation is low risk and (often) low cost. But if done well they add up to a significant and sustainable competitive advantage. In this talk, Robertson will show how leading companies use this powerful innovation strategy and share the techniques and disciplines that any company can adopt to boost their innovation success.

Enterprise Architecture: What to Tell the Management Team
If you had one hour with the management team of your company to talk about enterprise architecture, what would you say? How would you convince them of the importance of the topic? What would you ask them to do to support your architecture efforts? In this talk, Professor Robertson will use material from his book. Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution (co-authored with Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill from MIT) to show why enterprise architecture is a top management issue, and what management should do to transform their company’s architecture. Using data from a survey of over 150 companies and case examples from leading companies such as ING DIRECT, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson, Robertson will show why architecture 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.


Robertson is available for a broad range of possible workshops, from a short 60 minute creativity exercise to an engaging and active 2-day innovation workshop. Click the Workshops page link to see a full description.


“David’s presentation here at Tetra Pak was very much appreciated by both Tetra Pak and Nokia. David brings clarity to an often ambiguous and complex discussion about architecture. His framework allows people around the table to have effective dialogue about Information Technology and how it can or should support business processes.”

“Thank you for presenting at the conference. We have had some excellent feedback about your presentation – it clearly had a major impact on attendees’ perceptions of how to be successful with Enterprise Architecture. Many people voted it to be the best presentation of the event. So well done.”
– JUDITH JONES, CONfERENCE DIRECTOR – The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Conference

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