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The LEGO Movie as an example of creative leadership

By David Robertson | Published: June 6, 2014

Tim Brown recently posted his thoughts on how The LEGO Movie is an example of creative leadership.  I agree, but not only for the reasons that he lays out in his post. The LEGO Movie is the result of a long, painful but very successful restructuring of the company, one that began during the company’s crisis in 2003.  Convinced that the brick was passé and would soon be replaced by video games and other digital play experiences, LEGO experimented with all kinds of out-of-the-box play experiences between 1999 and 2002. The result was a crisis and near bankruptcy in 2003. To recover, LEGO went back to the brick, but also went back to their customers to understand how they used the company’s products. With the help of outside consulting firms such as ReD Associates, LEGO applied many of the disciplines of Design Thinking to understand who played with their products and how they read more


Brick By Brick

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"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
former Editor-in-Chief of Wired and author of Makers and The Long Tail


The LEGO Story

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  • david robertson innovationAbout |David Robertson

    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. 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. 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.
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  • Radio Host |Innovation Navigation

    innovation navigationIn his latest quest to understand innovation, David is also host of 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... read more

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