The Business Success Of LEGO With Author David Robertson

Sep 5, 2014

This is an encore broadcast of the interview with David Robertson.  The conversation was originally broadcast in January of 2014.

It’s hard to image a world without LEGO’s. The plastic building blocks have been a foundation of children’s imaginative play for nearly 60 years. But back in 2009, LEGO nearly was no more.

After enjoying years of success, the company found itself in the midst of a digital revolution that had changed the nature of play and made the company’s most reliable customers — 10-year-old boys — a lot more fickle. Global competition also had heated up, and in 1998 LEGO suffered its first major loss in company history.

LEGO relied upon some traditional innovation strategies to launch a recovery, but they left the company flailing and on the doorstep of bankruptcy.

In "Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry", David Robertson shares the company’s storied history, reveals how LEGO again thrives, and offers tips for companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes that seek to grow. The book’s co-author is Bill Breen.

Robertson is a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Innovation and Product Development in undergraduate, MBA and executive education programs. From 2002 through 2010, he was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development.

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