Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The LEGO Approach to Innovation

April 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT

About the Program

Innovation is often seen as the choice between two alternatives: either make incremental improvements to current products or invest in big disruptive innovations. The incremental approach is low risk, but low reward – it simply keeps you abreast of the competition. The disruptive approach is expensive and risky – few wish to bet their careers on it, and most companies don’t know how to manage it.

What if there was a third way to innovate? One that promised both the lower risk of incremental improvements and the high reward of disruptive innovations? The best companies have figured out this third way. LEGO, Apple, CarMax, Disney, Victoria’s Secret, GoPro, Novo Nordisk, and Gatorade have perfected an approach to innovation—an approach we call the Third Way—that delivers the best of both worlds.

This exclusive event with author and Wharton School Professor of Practice David Robertson, will take you inside the innovation process of these companies and show you this “Third Way” to innovate. Join the Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity and the CEO Trust to learn how LEGO – a company selling a commodity product in a competitive market with tough global competition and fickle customers – has achieved an average of 21% annual sales growth and 36% annual profit growth for eight consecutive years.

About the Speaker

David Robertson is a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School where he teaches Innovation and Product Development in Wharton’s undergraduate, MBA, and executive education programs. Robertson has been a student, teacher, and practitioner of the art of innovation for his entire career. In his latest quest to understand innovation, David Robertson hosts Innovation Navigation, a Wharton Business School Business radio program offering live, unscripted access to world-renowned thought leaders, executives, and faculty. As a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School, Robertson brings brilliant minds worldwide to share their innovation knowledge and experience to the listening public. Broadcasting weekly from The Wharton School’s Ivy League campus via Sirius XM’s trailblazing Wharton Business Radio Network channel, the program delivers invaluable advice for executives or managers who want to boost their organization’s ability to innovate.

From 2002 through 2010, Robertson was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development (IMD), which received the #1 worldwide ranking by the Financial Times for its executive education programs. At IMD he was Program Director for IMD’s largest program, the Program for Executive Development, and co-Director of the Making Business Sense of IT program, a joint program between IMD and MIT Sloan. Prior to IMD, Robertson was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a consultant at McKinsey & Company for 5 years, and an executive at four enterprise software companies.

Robertson is the author of Brick by Brick: How LEGO Reinvented its Innovation System and Conquered the Toy Industry, and co-author of Enterprise Architecture as Strategy. He has published in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and many other journals. Robertson has consulted and led educational programs for a wide range of companies, including EMC, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Georg Fischer, Braskem, Banco Santander, Skanska, Swisscom, Russell Investments, Novozymes, GMAC, Grundfos, BT, Microsoft, Heineken, Philip Morris, Globe Telecom, Tieto Enator, and AXA. David received his MBA and PhD from MIT and BS from the University of Illinois.

David, his wife, and two children live in Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


The CEO Trust is where CEOs come together to help each other in ways only we can — with camaraderie, counsel and referrals.  Trustees (members) share important values in common, which, because subscribed by all, create a warm, collaborative environment.  Meaningful interactions with trusted peers is efficient, and results in tangible business impact and valuable professional and personal relationships.


6:00 pm – Registration and Networking Reception
6:30 pm – Presentation and Q&A


Registration is currently limited to Baruch College students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Register online, by phone, or via e-mail:

  1. Complete the online registration form
  2. Call us at 646-312-3231 or
  3. E-mail us at matthew.lepere@baruch.cuny.edu

Registration / More information about this event…


April 25, 2017
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Baruch College – Library Building Room 750-760
151 East 25 Street
New York, NY 10010 United States


Matthew LePere