Dr. Alan G. Robinson specializes in managing high-performing organizations, creativity, ideas, innovation, and lean production. He is the co-author of ten books, many of which have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Corporate Creativity, co-authored with Sam Stern, was named “Book of the Year” by the Academy of Human Resource Management, and was a finalist in the Financial Times/Booz Allen & Hamilton Global Best Business Book Awards.
His book Vos Idées Changent Tout, co-authored with Isaac Getz, has been translated into six languages. In his preface to the German edition of this book, Heinrich von Pierer, President and CEO of Siemens AG, called this “an important book on a topic that is fundamental to every business.”
According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement, his 1991 book with Shigeo Shingo, who was one of the developers of the Toyota Production System, “remains a must-read for anyone interested in lean production.”
Robinson’s book Ideas Are Free, co-authored with Dean Schroeder, was based on a global study of more than 150 organizations in 17 countries. It describes how the best companies go about getting large numbers of ideas from their front-line employees, and the competitive advantages they gain from this. The book was named Reader’s Choice by Fast Company magazine and one of the 30 best business books of 2004 by Soundview Executive Books, and was featured on ABC World News and CNN Headline News.
A syndicated small business columnist for Scripps-Howard, Paul Tulenko, wrote about Ideas Are Free:
“I rate this book 5 1/2 stars, a first in this category. It’s that powerful. Only The Bible and the U.S. Constitution receive 6 stars.”
His latest book, The Idea-Driven Organization, also co-authored with Dean Schroeder, came out in 2014. This book is the sequel to Ideas Are Free, and is the result of more than five years of further research in an entirely new set of organizations. The book was named the best book in 2014 on Management and Leadership by USA Book News, and won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award in the General Business Category.
According to #1 New York Times best-selling business author Marshall Goldsmith, The Idea-Driven Organization is:
“…so reasonable that the magnitude of its change message is easy to miss. The richness of the examples from all over the world make it fun to read and the authors convincingly demonstrate the power of incorporating front-line line thinking into your organization.”
Robinson has advised more than 300 companies in twenty five countries on how to improve their performance. Some of his more well-known clients have included: the Federal Reserve Bank, General Electric, Kraft, the Government of Singapore, Lucent Technologies, Interbrew, IKEA, Mass Mutual, NBTY, the U.S. Navy, UBS, Alcan, Volkswagen, Standard and Poors, The Veterans Administration, Massachusetts General Hospital, The Washington Post, Wyeth, Heineken, Bose, Medtronics, Blue Shield of California, Toyota, Northeast Utilities, Conair, Millitech, Bemis, AIG, the Cleveland Clinic, Beth-Israel Hospital, Daneher, Pearson, Pyosa (the Mexican chemical company), Fanuc (the Japanese robotics company), Schneider Electric, the Japan Industrial Training Association, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Raytheon, Allianz, The Fashion Institute of Technology, USP, Liberty Mutual, and the Applied Physics Laboratory.
For a complete list, please go to the consulting page.
Over the years, his research has been written about in almost every major newspaper in the United States, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as a large number of business publications, including The Economist, Business Week, Inc., Fortune, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Harvard Management Update, and Fast Company. He has been interviewed on numerous local and national radio and television shows, including National Public Radio, CNN, CNN Headline News, Business Unusual with Lou Dobbs, ABC World News with David Muir, and CNBC’s Powerlunch. He also co-hosted a two-hour show on innovation for PBS/The Business Channel.
He has served on the Board of Examiners of the United States’ Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and on the Board of Examiners for the Shingo Prizes for Excellence in Manufacturing.
Dr. Robinson is on the faculty of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. and M.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge.
He has also 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.