Keynote Speaker
Alan Robinson

The key to sustained rapid improvement

Tapping the astonishing power in front-line ideas



Research has shown that approximately 80 percent of an organization’s improvement potential lies on the front lines. Why? Most problems and improvement opportunities are deeply buried in an organization’s processes, which are primarily worked on and experienced by front-line staff. Not only are front-line staff in the right place to see these problems but they are also in the best positions to solve them quickly and inexpensively. As a result, the ROI of their ideas is extremely high. Rapid performance improvement requires:

  1. Employees who are well-trained not just in problem-solving but problem-finding
  2. Cutting-edge systems capable of handling many front-line ideas
  3. Top leadership willing to hold their managers and supervisors—as well as themselves—accountable for a very different set of behaviors and metrics.

Leaders who focus on front-line driven improvement routinely get 24 or more implemented improvement ideas per employee. Their strong improvement cultures get far superior bottom-line results. Tapping into the power of front-line ideas involves much more than just setting up a physical or online suggestion box. There is a lot to know, much of which is counterintuitive.

About Alan Robinson

Dr. Alan G. Robinson specializes in managing high-performing organizations, creativity, ideas, innovation and lean. He is the co-author of twelve books, which have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

His research has been covered by major U.S. newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as major business publications such as The Economist, Business Week, Inc., Fortune, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Harvard Management Update and Fast Company. He has been interviewed on numerous national radio and television shows, including National Public Radio, CNN, Business Unusual with Lou Dobbs, ABC World News with David Muir, and MSNBC’s Powerlunch. He also co-hosted a two-hour show on innovation for PBS-The Business Channel.

Robinson has advised more than 300 organizations in 25 countries on how to improve their performance. Some of his more well-known clients include the Federal Reserve Bank, GE, Kraft, the government of Singapore, Interbrew, IKEA, NBTY, the U.S. Navy, UBS, Alcan, Volkswagen, Standard and Poors, The Veterans Administration, The Washington Post, Wyeth, Heineken, Bose, Medtronics, Toyota, Conair, Millitech, Bemis, AIG, Daneher, Pearson, Fanuc, Schneider Electric, the Japan Industrial Training Association, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Raytheon, Allianz, The Fashion Institute of Technology, USP, Liberty Mutual, the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Cleveland Clinic and the Beth-Israel, Massachusetts General, and Baptist Memorial hospitals.

Robinson holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. and M.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge. He has taught at St. Petersburg Technical University in Russia, the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration in Greece (affiliated with INSEAD), the Jagiellonian University in Poland, the University of Porto in Portugal, the Hanoi Business School, and Tianjin University in China.