Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry
Based in Denmark’s hinterlands, the family owned, closely held LEGO Group has been ignored by Wall Street. For much of its nearly eight decades, LEGO was an aloof, insular company whose idealistic, imaginative approach to play helped it conjure toys that rarely retreated to the back of kids’ closets. All of that changed in 2003, when LEGO failed to adapt to the revolutionary changes in children’s lives and very nearly collapsed. Since that near-death crisis, LEGO has re-emerged as a powerful, serial innovator that has proven itself to be as resilient as its indestructible bricks and as resourceful as the ten-year olds who bring them to life.
Brick by Brick will bring readers inside the LEGO they’ve never seen. The book will chronicle the iconic toymaker’s perilous fall and spectacular rise—one of the untold dramas in recent business history. It will recount the creation of many of LEGO’s most iconic toys and introduce readers to the designers and developers who are imagining the next generation of LEGO play experiences.
Through Robertson’s unfettered access to every part of the LEGO Group, Brick by Brick will reveal the ideas and techniques that have powered the company to record results in recent years. It will detail LEGO’s unique innovation guidance system that allows managers to channel the company’s creative endeavors. It will advance a set of LEGO-tested business principles for building innovation into all of a company’s activities—strategy, creativity, productivity, and leadership. And it will present the LEGO-like “bricks” that readers can use to assemble their own version of LEGO’s system for continuous innovation. Brick by Brick will put forth a LEGO-inspired agenda for real-world innovation and an action plan for achieving it.
“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
“Mr. Robertson’s account of Lego’s travails and rebirth is a nuanced and readable case study.”
–The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2013
“Robertson’s take on Lego’s success holds plenty of lessons for companies pondering how to remain innovative in a fast-changing world.”
–Richard Milne, The Financial Times, June 23, 2013
“In Brick by Brick, Robertson uncovers and shares a rare inside exploration of innovation-led transformation at its worst – and best. Any manager can learn from these lessons.”
–Scott Davis, Forbes, September 24, 2013