Innovation Workshops

Learn Innovation Through Active Exercises


Featured Workshop Topics

Robertson is available for a broad range of possible activities, from an entertaining 30 minute speech to an engaging and active three-day innovation workshop. Whether you choose a general speech or a customized workshop, the time spent will be energizing, challenging, active, and fun. Depending on the needs of the group and level of seniority, some combination of the following modules could be used.

What is Innovation?

A key part of any innovation workshop should be a discussion of how “innovation” is defined. How you define the term affects what you do and the results you get. In this short module we would talk about the differences between innovation, invention, and creativity. We’ll discuss what should be included in the definition and what should be left out, and the implications of the definition for a group’s innovation strategy.

Design Thinking

Customer-centric design, as practiced by IDEO and championed in Tim Brown’s book Design Thinking, represents an easy-to-understand but difficult-to-do set of practices. In this module we’ll split the group into teams, give them a disguised but real innovation challenge, and let them compete to solve the challenge. The game is supported by a computer-based voting system that gives points and badges for solving innovation challenges. The result is a fun half-day that has powerful lessons for how to lead and carry out an innovation challenge.

Creative Idea Generation

Using Robertson’s “Innovation Techniques” iPad app, participants will learn a series of brainstorming and synthesis techniques to develop a product and bring it to market. The session will show how structured creativity techniques can result in more ideas, faster time to market, and better return on innovation investments. The app is provided free with the course.

Innovation Tournaments

Tournaments are a proven method for generating more and better ideas for new products and services. But not all tournaments are successful – there are nine different decisions that have to be made, and a wrong choice can cause a tournament to become an expensive disaster. This session will use a “live case” format, selecting a challenge from the group and designing a tournament to solve that challenge. The session will feature case studies of several successful and unsuccessful tournaments to help the participants decide how to structure and carry out a successful tournament of their own.

Discovering Innovation Opportunities

Even in the earliest stages of innovation – sometimes called the “fuzzy front end” – it’s possible to structure work so that teams have the direction they need to succeed. In this session we will talk about how to structure the early stages of innovation to get more and better ideas for new projects.  We’ll learn some structured techniques for generating breakthrough ideas.

Leading Innovation

Adopting leading-edge innovation practices requires new management methods. In this module we’ll talk about the experiences of some of the most innovative companies in the world, and use their stories to illustrate the management challenges of user-centric innovation. We’ll start by looking at the case of LEGO in 2003, when the company was near bankruptcy, and talk about the key management changes that led to the company’s spectacular turnaround. We’ll then show how their approach has also been used by such companies as Gatorade, Novo Nordisk, Victoria’s Secret, Apple, CarMax, Disney, and Valve.

Innovation Workshop Testimonials

"David Brings Clarity To An Often Ambiguous And Complex Discussion"

Anders Wester
Tetra Pak

“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.”

"Robertson's 'Cards Against Innovation' game engaged the group, got them laughing, and left them with specific ideas where they could innovate"

Josh Klenoff
Founder, The Helm Group

“Robertson’s ‘Cards Against Innovation’ game was an entertaining way to illustrate the major points of his talk – it engaged the group, got them laughing, and left them with some specific ideas for where they could innovate.”

""A real high point for our congress""

Christopher Beattie
Merck Animal Health

“I’d seen David present before at an international business conference and when we were planning our Congress with innovation as the main theme, he immediately came to mind as our first-choice keynote speaker. Outside of the compelling background story of Lego’s innovation journey and the faultless delivery of his presentation, I was most impressed by how David actively contributed to our planning process and coordinated our (Lego-themed) innovation workshop. Enthusiastic and approachable, great to see a speaker so ready to immerse themselves in our event and engage with delegates outside of the meeting room. His contribution was a real high point for our congress.”

Innovation Workshops

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