Brick by Brick

  • by David Robertson, Bill Breen
  • Narrated by Thomas Vincent Kelly
  • 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 (10-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 oceansGave 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.

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What the Critics Say

“A valuable read for any business leader or student, but will also delight those familiar with the beloved toy.” Publishers Weekly starred review

"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." -Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail and Makers

"Brick by Brick is a fascinating study of an iconic toy company that figured out how to stay relevant in a rapidly changing market by returning to its core values and the guiding principles that made it a success in the first place. A must-read for any executive struggling with change." – Bryce G. Hoffman, journalist and author of American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

"In an era filled with so many disheartening stories of corporate failure its refreshing to witness the turn-a-round  success of one we have all grown up with during our childhood and that will  continue for generations to come." –Adam Reed Tucker, LEGO Architectural Artist

“David Robertson and Bill Breen have done a wonderful job explaining brick by brick why Lego is loved around the world and what it took to keep this product at the center of toy industry for so long. Like Disney, Lego’s success can be attributed to their drive for innovation, creativity and persistence. While the bricks are loved by children, Brick by Brick is for any business person wanting to understand what it takes to be great.” –Lee Cockerell, executive vice president (retired and inspired), Walt Disney World Resort, author, Creating Magic and The Customer Rules


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Okay read but gets long near the end

Would you recommend Brick by Brick to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes. Some great background and business lessons on a private and somewhat sheltered iconic company.


Have you listened to any of Thomas Vincent Kelly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No


Was Brick by Brick worth the listening time?

Yes


Any additional comments?

I thought the author tried to force the story a bit into his innovation framework, which is overly generic in my view.

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- Patrick

Good read for LEGO fans

This book shared interesting insider story of how the company turned around from the downturn in the 90s to revival in the 2000s. As the author tried to criss-cross the history in various cuts, the story was repetitive to significant degree, but as a LEGO enthusiast, it was tolerable. I would not recommend this book to people who just wants to understand the cause and effect of how the turnaround occurred, as the author could not crystallize it himself either.
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- PC

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio