David Robertson Books

Essential Innovation Reading


Brick by Brick

How Lego Rewrote The Rules Of Innovation And Conquered The Global Toy Industry

David Robertson
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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 chronicles 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 reveals the ideas and techniques that have powered the company to record results in recent years. It details LEGO’s unique innovation management system that allows managers to channel the company’s creative endeavors. It advances a set of LEGO-tested business principles for building innovation into all of a company’s activities—strategy, creativity, productivity, and leadership. And it presents the LEGO-like “bricks” that readers can use to assemble their own version of LEGO’s system for continuous innovation. Brick by Brick provides a LEGO-inspired agenda for real-world innovation and an action plan for achieving it.


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Praise for Brick by Brick

"A nuanced and readable case study."

The Wall Street Journal
July 23, 2013

Mr. Robertson’s account of Lego’s travails and rebirth is a nuanced and readable case study.

"David Robertson’s Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation, has become a set business text"

Johnny Davis
The Guardian

From the Guardian newspaper:

Lego’s revival has been called the greatest turnaround in corporate history. A book devoted to the subject, David Robertson’s Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation, has become a set business text. Sony, Adidas and Boeing are said to refer to it. Google now uses Lego bricks to help its employees innovate.

A fascinating book.

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

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.

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