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After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in Mathematics, he returned to his home in the North West to work in production management. He became much involved in the “total quality management” movement that was transforming manufacturing at the time. With post graduate training at Manchester Business School and Lucas Consulting, he worked as a consultant specialising in advanced manufacturing for high tech small businesses.
After being invited to manage a collaboration of over 30 organisations, Roger became convinced of the power of collaboration. He then went on to found one of Europe’s leading collaboration specialists providing a wide range of strategic and operational collaboration services to over 80 of the FT 250 companies. For over the last 14 years, he has been at the forefront of collaboration thought leadership working with both strategic managers and academics from some of the world’s leading business schools.
In parallel, he has applied his mathematical training and technology expertise to developing high-tech innovations ranging from “smart components” to mathematical algorithms applied to a wide range of sensor technology as well as numerous industrial and manufacturing innovations.
Roger is currently working on his new book “Collaboration as a Strategic Capability”. In it, he develops the proposition that “The age of the hierarchy is over, the age of the collaborative network is beginning”. He proposes the fundamental hypothesis that collaboration is the most effective way to design and optimise the performance of complex organisations in comparison to the traditional approach based on Victorian engineering principles and 20th Century manufacturing organisations. This message applies not just to the corporate sector as it works through the implications of global competition, un-predicable large scale disruption and the ever-increasing pace of change but even more so to the public sector as the role of the State in the provision of services is now being questioned like never before.
Working with other colleagues within the University, Roger is helping to develop and implement an integrated strategy for enterprise, innovation and collaboration including:
Both innovation and collaboration are increasingly key skills in the workplace. Although the teaching of innovation is more mature in HE, there are still a number of aspects, especially market-led innovation and paradigm-shift innovation that is best taught by showing and best learnt by doing.
Collaboration, on the other hand, is scarcely anywhere available, as part of under- or post-graduate studies. Whether the student is science or humanities based, as a future technologist or knowledge-worker, it will be impossible to perform to their maximum potential without a deeply embedded capability to both collaborate and manage collaboration.
For both innovation and collaboration, Roger is helping to create a range of teaching and mentoring opportunities for students working in a number of different faculties. In addition, having worked with managers in the corporate world, he brings these experiences to inform the academic and managerial staff as they implement objectives and develop opportunities around innovation and collaboration.
Roger has been actively involved in a number of extra-curricula professional activities including: