The main focus of corporations is sustainability of their market share and continued corporate dominance. They can accomplish this in a number of ways, but primarily through innovation. The person I am promoting for this topic is Dave Robertson. While you have a David Robertson on your list under privacy, I believe this Dave Robertson is different. He would fit under several of the categories such as “Corporate Power and Technology”, “Engineering and the Future”, and “Futurism”. He currently teaches Innovation and Product Development for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I heard Dave speak two years ago and his speech was enthralling; everyone was fixated on what he was saying.
He is the author of Brick by Brick: How LEGO Reinvented its Innovation System and Conquered the Toy Industry. His talk was focused around this book and LEGO’s change of internal strategy. LEGO had been the standard in building toys for years, but as the world progressed they began to lose market share because there product technology was not evolving with the rest of the industry. They began to look toward the future by just throwing money at the problem and saying, “Just Innovate”. The problem was that they had no direction and without direction innovation does not help the company look towards and move to the future. LEGO reevaluated their strategy and began to look towards their most loyal users for ideas. They practiced the process of “Crowd-Sourcing” to find out what the consumers wanted (Similar to this Blog Prompt!). Using a group of fans, they sent them new products that were not yet on the market and asked them what they liked, wanted, and needs to be changed. By doing this management reversed the fate of LEGO and brought the company back to its previous glory.
This link is a PDF of the LEGO book comic summary , a comic strip of the LEGO story. Dave did a great job of making sure the crowd realized that a key part of creating new technologies and innovating is having a group of different individuals. To get this point across, he gave everyone a packet of 6 LEGOs and told them to make a duck. The only rule was not to look at what the person next to you was doing – you could use any amount of the LEGOs you desired. After 5 minutes he told everyone to show off their duck. It was amazing how many different configurations there were of ducks from using no more than just 6 LEGOs. Also posted below is a video of Dave Robertson speaking and a link to his personal webpage.