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

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

by David Robertson, Bill Breen


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307951601
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/25/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.56(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

DAVID C. ROBERTSON joined the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in January of 2011, and 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
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 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. Connect with Bill at

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: When the Bricks Click 1

Part 1 The Seven Truths of Innovation and LEGO Group's Decline

Chapter 1 Stacking Up 13

The Birth of the Brick

Chapter 2 Boosting Innovation 39

The LEGO Group's Bold Bid to Keep Pace with a Fast-Forward World

Chapter 3 Losing Control 63

The Scattered Remains of Runaway Innovation

Part 2 Mastering the Seven Truths of Innovation and Transforming LEGO

Chapter 4 Building an Innovation Culture 95

The Return to Core Values

Chapter 5 Becoming Customer Driven 123

The Rebirth of LEGO City

Chapter 6 Exploring the Full Spectrum of Innovation 151

The Bionicle Chronicle

Chapter 7 Fostering Open Innovation 179

Mindstorms, Architecture, and the Wisdom of the Clique

Chapter 8 Attempting a Disruptive Innovation 215

Aiming for the Stars with LEGO Universe

Chapter 9 Sailing for Blue Ocean 239

"Obviously LEGO, but Never Seen Before" and the Birth of LEGO Games

Chapter 10 Leveraging Diverse and Creative People 263

The Ninjago Big Bang

Chapter 11 Transforming LEGO 281

The Rebirth of a Brand

Notes 295

Index 297

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Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gets dry at points, but a very good read. Shows how not being flexible hurts a company. Then being to flexible can about kill it. Balance seems to be the best solution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Happiness is one brick at a time.
classicalall More than 1 year ago
3 grandchildren (Boys of one family, father a graduate of Wharton at U of Penn ) have put together and enjoyed all Legos, over & over, since ages of 2-4-7 to now at ages 6-8-11.  They love them all and always will. (Except when certain parts are left out of the sets - these are returned & money is refunded.)  Architecture sets are VERY educational and putting together any of them is great for Finger Dexterity.  They are WONDERFUL.  We have a big house and we don't  mind finding and picking up the pieces that are temporarily lost.. You can do it in a Condo or smaller house, and appreciate the wonderful creations that are surrounding you.  I love the Big Black  Pirate Ship .