IfM Briefing hosts world-renowned expert David Teece

A large and engaged audience joined us at the IfM for our Briefing on ‘Developing Industrial Capabilities’ on the evening of Monday 23rd September, when we were delighted to host leading expert Professor David Teece as our keynote speaker.


David Teece’s framework identifies two fundamental types of capability which firms need to develop to survive and succeed. ‘Ordinary capabilities’ are essential for companies to function effectively and be competitive, and are highly developed in best-of-breed firms. However, he contends, firms with best practices will still go out of business if they do not develop the ability to adapt and transform as the world around them changes. So Teece’s definition of ‘dynamic capabilities’ are those which give firms the capacity to adapt to change and deal with uncertainty.


Relating this concept of dynamic capabilities to a familiar context, Tim Minshall’s talk then set these ideas in the landscape of the Cambridge innovation cluster. He drew on examples from BBC Micro, ARM, Raspberry Pi, Owlstone and others to look at what it takes to make entrepreneurial ventures succeed and grow into established players.


IfM Briefing dynamic capabilities september 2019 audience


Anchoring these ideas through industrial examples, we then heard from IfM Industrial Associate Paul Christodoulou, who gave a clear overview of some of the ways in which the IfM works with companies to help them respond to change, particularly in the development of global manufacturing networks. The final speaker, Frank Wagner, who has recently joined IfM as an Industrial Associate from Electrolux, provided a case study to show how an extensive programme of global manufacturing change has been implemented in practice, with impressive results.


Chaired by Professor Sir Mike Gregory, former Head of the IfM, a panel session rounded off the evening with a chance for attendees to ask some probing questions of the speakers.


IfM Briefing dynamic capabilities september 2019 panel


Find out about further events in the IfM Briefings series here:

Date published

2 October 2019

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