This book is a thoroughly researched and detailed history of the Lego Group that gives readers with a plethora of knowledge about the company’s origins, growth, and continued success.
The LEGO company was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932 in Billund, a small town in western Denmark.
What was initially a small Danish toy manufacturer based in the early 1930s and specialising in wooden playthings gradually grew to become a global phenomenon.
The book focuses on LEGO Group’s success creators. Andersen covers the company’s founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter who became a creative toy maker, and his son, Godtfred, who supervised the company’s postwar expansion and modernisation. Both helped build the company.
Due to the fact that their family was unable to afford toys, Ole Kirk began creating toys out of the wood chips that were left over. Even though they were first constructed solely for his four sons, he still made sure that they were perfect, setting an example to do everything to the best of your ability.
The book also delves deeply into the creative process behind some of the company’s most iconic products, such as the LEGO brick itself, which was invented by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1958, and the Lego minifigure, which was introduced in 1978 and has become a cultural icon in its own right.
Both the LEGO brick and the LEGO minifigure were introduced by Ole Kirk Christiansen. The author investigates the design and engineering issues associated with the creation of these items, in addition to the cultural and marketing initiatives that have contributed to the products’ success.
In addition to concentrating on the people and products that have contributed to the success of the Lego Group, the book also offers a comprehensive analysis of the business strategies and challenges faced by the corporation.
Andersen examines not just the different acquisitions, mergers, and expansions that have taken place throughout the course of the firm’s history, but also the various competitive pressures that the corporation has been subjected to from other manufacturers of toys.
Here are some interesting insights from the book:
- LEGO is a combination of two Danish words “Leg godt,” which means “play well.”
- The founder of LEGO, Ole Kirk Christiansen, was a carpenter by trade who started making toys in his spare time during the Great Depression.
- LEGO initially produced wooden toys but switched to plastic toys after World War II due to a shortage of wood.
- The iconic LEGO brick we know today was patented in 1958 and is still compatible with bricks made today.
- The LEGO company has a unique management style called “The LEGO Idea,” which encourages creativity and innovation in all employees.
- LEGO is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world, producing over 36 billion bricks annually.
- The LEGO Group is still family-owned and operated, with the founder’s grandson, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, serving as the current owner and chairman.
- LEGO has expanded beyond just toys and now has theme parks, movies, video games, and even a TV series.
- LEGO has been recognised as one of the most valuable and powerful brands in the world, consistently ranking in the top 100 of the Best Global Brands list.
- LEGO’s success can be attributed to its focus on creativity, play, and imagination, which have resonated with generations of children and adults alike.
- Leaders must lead from the front but also disappear in the background. Dynamic leaders must be thoughtful. Leaders must be visionary but grounded. Leaders need confidence and humility.
The Lego Story is amazing, and it was fun to see how the company has evolved over the last 100 years.
This book is a great option for anyone who is interested in the history of popular culture, students of business, or even just people who are fans of Legos.
It’s also a wonderful read for anyone interested in growing their business, passing the baton, and witnessing how a company’s vision changes over time. The book is neutral, but the last chapter, regarding the company’s current situation, smells like PR. But it’s still worth reading.
For me, the saddest and most real moment was when all three of the men who founded the Lego firm [for children] expressed they wished they had spent more time with their own families instead of working so much.
- “The LEGO Group is more than a business enterprise. It is an idea, a concept that inspires creativity, innovation, and imagination.”
- “We have never been a company that seeks to maximise profits. We have always sought to make the best possible toys, and to give children the best possible play experiences.”
- “The LEGO brick is a universal language. It is a tool for people of all ages and all cultures to express their creativity and share their ideas.”
- “The LEGO Group’s success is based on the simple fact that we offer children a chance to play, to learn, and to create.”
- “Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein [this quote is referenced in the book as a guiding principle for LEGO’s philosophy on play and learning]
- “Innovation is not a goal in itself. Innovation is a means to achieve our goal, which is to create the best possible play experiences for children.”
- “The LEGO Group’s commitment to quality is unwavering. We do not compromise on the quality of our products, because we know that children deserve the very best.”
- “Our products are not just toys. They are tools for learning, for exploration, for discovery, and for creativity.”
- “We believe that play is essential to the development of the whole child – intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.”
- “At the heart of our company is a deep commitment to the power of play, and a belief that it can make the world a better place.”