Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

By Bill Breen, David Robertson
"Brick by Brick" takes you inside the LEGO you've never seen. By following the teams that are inventing some of the world's best-loved toys, it spotlights the company's disciplined approach to harnessing creativity and recounts one of the most remarkable business transformations in recent memory.
"Brick by Brick" reveals how LEGO failed to keep pace with the revolutionary changes in kids' lives and began sliding into irrelevance. When the company's leaders implemented some of the business world's most widely espoused prescriptions for boosting innovation, they ironically pushed the iconic toymaker to the brink of bankruptcy. The company's near-collapse shows that what works in theory can fail spectacularly in the brutally competitive global economy.
It took a new LEGO management team - faced with the growing rage for electronic toys, few barriers to entry, and ultra-demanding consumers (ten-year old boys) - to reinvent the innovation rule book and transform LEGO into one of the world's most profitable, fastest-growing companies.
Along the way, "Brick by Brick" reveals how LEGO:
- Became truly customer-driven by co-creating with kids as well as its passionate adult fans
- Looked beyond products and learned to leverage a full-spectrum approach to innovation
- Opened its innovation process by using both the "wisdom of crowds" and the expertise of elite cliques
- Discovered uncontested, "blue ocean" markets, even as it thrived in brutally competitive red oceans
- Gave its world-class design teams enough space to create and direction to deliver
built a culture where "profitable" innovation flourishes
Sometimes radical yet always applicable, "Brick by Brick" abounds with real-world lessons for unleashing breakthrough innovation in your organization, just like LEGO. Whether you're a senior executive looking to make your company grow, an entrepreneur building a startup from scratch, or a fan who wants to instill some of that LEGO magic in your career, you'll learn how to build your own innovation advantage, brick by brick.


STAFF PICKS: Take a Day Off: Read a Book!

Posted August 13, 2013, 12:37 AM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
It is nearing the end of summer, at least in these parts, but there is still time to whittle down that long "to-read-on-vacation" list that you might have created in May, imaging long hot days laying in the sun, book in hand. If you are like me, summer is never quite the vast wasteland of time during which I can read to my heart's content that I always hope it will be. Instead, it is usually a time of rushing around the city from event to event, doing home and yard work, taking my child to a park/pool/playdate, and generally feeling like the summer is going by way too fast. Read more

STAFF PICKS: Brick by Brick, or How LEGO Was Awesome, Failed, and Then Became Awesome Again

Posted July 15, 2013, 11:15 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
We have reached a point in time when those of us who missed out on playing with LEGOs as kids have by now had the opportunity to buy the iconic toys for our own children. I am fortunate enough to have experienced the joy of LEGO both as a child and an adult, so my interest in David C. Robertson’s Brick by Brick is all but automatic. Read more


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ISBN: 9780307951601

About the Hardcover

Publisher Crown Business
Publish date 06/01/2013
Pages 305
ISBN-13 9780307951601
Language English

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