- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (June 24, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307951618
- ISBN-13: 978-0307951618
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry Paperback – June 24, 2014
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"Well told...Mr. Robertson, with the benefit of access to staff at Lego and partner companies, provides unusually detailed reporting of the processes that led to Lego's current hits." -Wall Street Journal
"Robertson uncovers and shares a rare inside exploration of innovation-led transformation at its worst – and best. Any manager can learn from these lessons." -Forbes
“An engaging, surprisingly suspenseful and intimate view of the inner workings, leadership dynamics and decision-making process.” -Success
“Compelling reading.” –Business Standard
"Good storytelling, with considerable insight into Lego's efforts at innovation, including both successes and failures." -Winnipeg Free Press
“A valuable read for any business leader or student, but will also delight those familiar with the beloved toy.” –Publishers Weekly starred review
"A fascinating book. The story of how Lego came perilously close to disaster but then transformed itself into one of the most successful and innovative companies in the world serves both as an inspiration and an object lesson." -Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail and Makers
"Brick by Brick is a fascinating study of an iconic toy company that figured out how to stay relevant in a rapidly changing market by returning to its core values and the guiding principles that made it a success in the first place. A must-read for any executive struggling with change." – Bryce G. Hoffman, journalist and author of American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company
"In an era filled with so many disheartening stories of corporate failure its refreshing to witness the turn-a-round success of one we have all grown up with during our childhood and that will continue for generations to come." –Adam Reed Tucker, LEGO Architectural Artist
“David Robertson and Bill Breen have done a wonderful job explaining brick by brick why Lego is loved around the world and what it took to keep this product at the center of toy industry for so long. Like Disney, Lego’s success can be attributed to their drive for innovation, creativity and persistence. While the bricks are loved by children, Brick by Brick is for any business person wanting to understand what it takes to be great.” –Lee Cockerell, executive vice president (retired and inspired), Walt Disney World Resort, author, Creating Magic and The Customer Rules
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
DAVID C. ROBERTSON is a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Innovation and Product Development. Prior to joining the faculty of the Wharton School, Robertson was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland from 2002 through 2010. As the LEGO Professor, Robertson was given unique access to the company’s management team, has written two case studies about the company, and is the co-author of a Harvard Business Review piece on LEGO. At IMD, Robertson was the co-director of the school’s largest executive education program, the Program for Executive Development, and directed programs for Credit Suisse, EMC, HSBC, Skanska, BT, and other leading European companies. For more on Robertson’s background, and to contact him for speaking and consulting engagements, visit www.robertsoninnovation.com.
BILL BREEN is a founding member of the team that launched Fast Company, which gained an avid following among businesspeople and won numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. As senior editor, he edited Fast Company's special issues on design and leadership and wrote many articles on competition, innovation, and personal success. He is the coauthor of The Responsibility Revolution and The Future of Management, which the editors of Amazon.com selected as the best business book of the year. Breen speaks to business audiences on leadership, innovation and sustainability; he has appeared on CNN, Fox, CBS, National Public Radio, and other media outlets.
Top customer reviews
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Three weeks later a little envelope arrived. Adressed to my son (4 year olds love getting letters). It was a personalized letter from Lego to him, explaining how sad he must have felt when his mother had dropped the train. Therefore, Lego was glad to provide him with 3 new parts, no costs. And a free membership to the periodic Lego magazine.
My jaws dropped. Not only did Lego totally outperform our expectations, they seemed to defy all logic. In the age of call centers and their associated customer carelessness, automation, mass production, depersonalization and standardization, they managed to do the exact opposite. It made my son and me life time fans of the company.
This book is about how Lego manages to be so exceptional. Not by some wild eccentric leadership fad, but by a disciplined approach in their ways of working. Focused especially on Lego's innovation culture that developed after their near-death at the start of the century, the account stands for much more than innovation. It stands for a company with a soul and a deep-rooted belief that it wants to support children in their desire to explore, build and create. Written in a very pleasant style, it provides an in-depth account on Lego, based on a 5 year extensive study by the author David Robertson. It's highly inspirational, excellently documented and very convincing, and now gets me to understand the question how they managed to do that, which puzzled me since the day we received the spare parts for my son's broken train.
One is that it gives much of the backstory to the creative process as to where those wonderful LEGO products come from. My son and I have remarked over many a LEGO set "These guys are geniuses" for their ability to use parts for different purposes and for their ability to use LEGO bricks to create things as varying as simple toys, large scale models and iconic buildings.
The second is the book looks critically at how business truisms and slogans work in practice. The authors list a number of business slogans that LEGO tried to apply leading up to their desperate years of the mid 2000's and analyzes how these worked in practice. The reader should come away with a better understanding of how good general business ideas still have to fit with the individual company and their competitive environment. There are in-depth examinations of why certain products succeeded and why other seemingly promising products failed.
This book is about creativity, how to succeed and fail (almost to the point of bankruptcy) and succeed again using creative tools in the proper way.
From a very successful company, located nowhere in the world, Lego forgot about its roots and values and tried to conquer the minds of young buyers with mixed results. Lack of management tools and controls delayed the discovery on how bad Lego was bleeding for years. In the last hour, not a minute too late, Lego was on the road to recovery. How and why, please read the book.
I highly recommend this book