October 10, 2006
Dr. Alan G. Robinson - Ideas Are Free
Ideas Are Free , was both the title and message of the seminar given by Dr. Alan G. Robinson, at Farmingdale State on September 27, 2006. Sponsored by Marcum & Kliegman of Melville and Commerce Bank , Dr. Robinson's appearance was part of the Business Partnership Breakfast Series presented by the Farmingdale State Center for Innovation in Lean and Six Sigma. He is a leading authority on both lean production and on managing creativity and ideas. Among the attendees were executives and managers of the Center's most prestigious clients, including Altana Pharma, Forest Laboratories, and Brookhaven National Laboratories.
The seminar was drawn from Dr. Robinson's latest book, Ideas Are Free , which was based on a global study of how the best companies go about getting large numbers of ideas from their front-line employees, and the competitive advantages they gain. The system he proposes will allow management:
• To know that what is supposed to be happening is happening
• To create a place where people know their ideas will be taken seriously.
• " S aves Y ou S tress, T ime, E nergy and M oney"
Dr. Robinson highlighted examples of industry leaders with good idea systems including: Boardroom Inc. , Milliken Corporation , and Toyota Lexus.
Ideas Are Free was named "Reader's Choice" by Fast Company magazine in 2004. It was named "one of the 30 best business books of 2004" by Soundview Executive Books, and was featured on ABC World News and CNN Headline News. Dr. Robinson signed copies of his book at the end of the presentation.
In addition, he is co-author of Corporate Creativity: How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen , which was named "Book of the Year" by the Academy of Human Resources Management. Robinson has worked with more than 120 organizations in 11 countries to improve business performance. In addition, according to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dr. Robinson's 1991 book with Shigeo Shingo , Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement, "remains a must-read for anyone interested in lean production."
Dr. Robinson, who holds a doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University, is a professor in the Department of Finance and Operations Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst , Isenberg School of Management and has been involved with the Farmingdale State Center for Innovation in Lean and Six Sigma almost from its inception. Dr. Robinson is a resident of Sunderland, Massachusetts.