Book Reviews
Title: Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of
Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry
Author: David Robertson and Bill Breen
Stars: ***

Robertson and Breen walk the reader through a history of the Lego company
focusing on their application of innovation. It is interesting to learn how the
company evolved from its origins as a wooden toy maker to its current position as
the 3rd largest toy company in the world.

Innovation has always been at the heart of Lego's success, but the author's point
out that the drive to innovate almost killed the company back in the early 2000s.
Company leaders witnessed the impact of the digital revolution on childrens' play
habits and feared they were quickly becoming irrelevant. They had to ratchet up
their innovation efforts in order to survive. Despite following proven innovation
techniques (e.g. looking for “blue oceans”), they went about doing so too quickly
and without the necessary structure and foundation necessary for success.

On the brink of bankruptcy, they brought in a new management team that quickly
righted the ship and introduced an innovation system which enabled them to
emerge from near catastrophe to achieve market dominance in a 7 to 10 year

The authors do a good job of pointing out the do's and don'ts along the Lego
innovation journey. Although the approach to innovation can seem a bit more like
an art than a science, there are certainly valuable lessons that can be garnered
from Lego's experience to increase the chances of success.
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