"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 (ten-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 oceans
- Gave 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.
DAVID C. ROBERTSON joined the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in January of 2011, and was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland from 2002 through 2010. As the LEGO Professor, Robertson was given unique access to the company s management team, has written two case studies about the company, and is the co-author of a "Harvard Business Review" piece on LEGO. At IMD, Robertson was the co-director of the school s largest executive education program, the Program for Executive Development, and directed programs for Credit Suisse, EMC, HSBC, Skanska, BT, and other leading European companies. For more on Robertson s background, and to contact him for speaking and consulting engagements, visit www.robertsoninnovation.com.
BILL BREEN is a founding member of the team that launched "Fast Company, "which gained an avid following among business people and won numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. As senior editor, he edited "Fast Company"'s special issues on design and leadership and wrote many articles on competition, innovation, and personal success. He is the coauthor of "The Responsibility Revolution" and "The Future of Management," which the editors of Amazon.com selected as the best business book of the year. Breen speaks to business audiences on leadership, innovation and sustainability; he has appeared on CNN, Fox, CBS, National Public Radio, and other media outlets. Connect with Bill at email@example.com."
From the time of Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures" through the Great Depression, American towns and cities sought to lure footloose companies by offering lavish benefits. These ranged from taxpayer-financed factories, to tax exemptions, to outright gifts of money. This kind of government aid, known as "corporate welfare," is still around today. After establishing its historical foundations, James T. Bennett reveals four modern manifestations.
His first case is the epochal debate over government subsidy of a supersonic transport aircraft. The second case has its origins in Southern factory relocation programs of the 1930s--the practice of state and local governments granting companies taxpayer financed incentives. The third is the taking of private property for the enrichment of business interests. The fourth--export subsidies--has its genesis in the New Deal but matured with the growth of the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes international business exchanges of America's largest corporate entities.
Bennett examines the prospects for a successful anti-corporate welfare coalition of libertarians, free market conservatives, Greens, and populists. The potential for a coalition is out there, he argues. Whether a canny politician can assemble and maintain it long enough to mount a taxpayer counterattack upon corporate welfare is an intriguing question.
James T. Bennett is professor of economics at George Mason University. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Labor Research and has authored ten books with Transaction, including Mandate Madness and Corporate Welfare.
> Overview From the time of Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures" through the Great Depression, American towns and cities sought to lure footloose companies by offering lavish benefits. These ranged from...
Elon Musk is the most daring entrepreneur of our time
There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy.
In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than fifty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies and to paint a portrait of a complex man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation all while making plenty of enemies along the way.
In 1992, Elon Musk arrived in the United States as a ferociously driven immigrant bent on realizing his wildest dreams. Since then, Musk's roller-coaster life has brought him grave disappointments alongside massive successes. After being forced out of PayPal, fending off a life-threatening case of malaria, and dealing with the death of his infant son, Musk abandoned Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. He spent the next few years baffling his friends by blowing his entire fortune on rocket ships and electric cars. Cut to 2012, however, and Musk had mounted one of the greatest resurrections in business history: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity had enjoyed unparalleled success, and Musk's net worth soared to more than $5 billion.
At a time when many American companies are more interested in chasing easy money than in taking bold risks on radical new technology, Musk stands out as the only businessman with enough dynamism and vision to tackle and even revolutionize three industries at once. Vance makes the case that Musk's success heralds a return to the original ambition and invention that made America an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Elon Musk is a brilliant, penetrating examination of what Musk's career means for a technology industry undergoing dramatic change and offers a taste of what could be an incredible century ahead.
Ashlee Vance is one of the most prominent writers on technology today. After spending several years reporting on Silicon Valley and technology for the New York Times, Vance went to Bloomberg Businessweek, where he has written dozens of cover and feature stories for the magazine on topics ranging from cyber espionage to DNA sequencing and space exploration
> Overview Elon Musk is the most daring entrepreneur of our time There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy...
THE GLOBALIZATION OF WAL-MART is the only book that details Wal-Mart's expansion around the world, and its methods for exploiting its workers.
Covering more than 15 countries, world-wide, from North America to Europe, South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia, Professor Rosen reveals both how Wal-Mart has succeeded in becoming the largest retail multi-national corporation, as well as why Wal-Mart has failed in establishing a strong foothold in a few places.
This book also reveals how Wal-Mart's anti-union policies have allowed it to succeed financially, while leading many consumers and workers to demand better treatment. This book is dedicated to the future success of Wal-Mart workers to achieve fair pay and humane treatment while on their jobs.
Dr, Ellen Israel Rosen is a Resident Scholar at the Womens' Studies Research Center at Brandeis University and the author of "Making Sweatshops: The Globalization of the U.S. Apparel Industry."
> Overview THE GLOBALIZATION OF WAL-MART is the only book that details Wal-Mart's expansion around the world, and its methods for exploiting its workers. Covering more than 15 countries, world-wide, from...
A "New York Times" bestseller
Ev told Jack he had to chill out with the deluge of media he was doing. It s badfor the company, Ev said. It's sending the wrong message. Biz sat between them, watching like a spectator at a tennis match. But I invented Twitter, Jack said. No, you didn't invent Twitter, Ev replied. I didn t invent Twitter either. Neither did Biz. People don't invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.
Despite all the coverage of Twitter's rise, Nick Bilton of "The New York Times" is the first journalist to tell the full story a gripping drama of betrayed friendships and high stakes power struggles.
The four founders Evan Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass made a dizzyingly fast transition from ordinary engineers to wealthy celebrities. They fought each other bitterly for money, influence, publicity, and controlas Twitter grew larger and more powerful. Ultimately they all lost their grip on it.
Bilton's unprecedented access and exhaustive reporting have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.
Nick Biltonis a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, where he explores the disruptive aspects of technology on business, culture and society. His columns span everything from the future of technology and privacy to the impact of social media on the Web. He is a regular guest on national TV and radio and is the author ofI Live in the Future & Here s How It Works. He lives in Los Angeles.
Author: Nick Bilton
Publish Date: September 30, 2014
Pages: 302 pages
Dimensions: 1.0" H x 8.4" L x 5.4" W (0.65 lbs)
> Overview A "New York Times" bestseller Ev told Jack he had to chill out with the deluge of media he was doing. It s badfor the company, Ev said. It's...
Corporate social responsibility was one of the most consequential business trends of the twentieth century. Having spent decades burnishing reputations as both great places to work and generous philanthropists, large corporations suddenly abandoned their commitment to their communities and employees during the 1980's and 1990's, indicated by declining job security, health insurance, and corporate giving.
Douglas M. Eichar argues that for most of the twentieth century, the benevolence of large corporations functioned to stave off government regulations and unions, as corporations voluntarily adopted more progressive workplace practices or made philanthropic contributions. Eichar contends that as governmental and union threats to managerial prerogatives withered toward the century's end, so did corporate social responsibility. Today, with shareholder value as their beacon, large corporations have shred their social contract with their employees, decimated unions, avoided taxes, and engaged in all manner of risky practices and corrupt politics.
This book is the first to cover the entire history of twentieth-century corporate social responsibility. It provides a valuable perspective from which to revisit the debate concerning the public purpose of large corporations. It also offers new ideas that may transform the public debate about regulating larger corporations.
Douglas M. Eichar is an associate professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Hartford.
Author: Douglas M. Eichar
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Publish Date: August 20, 2015
Pages: 392 pages
Dimensions: 0.98" H x 9.26" L x 6.13" W (1.5 lbs)
> Overview Corporate social responsibility was one of the most consequential business trends of the twentieth century. Having spent decades burnishing reputations as both great places to work and generous philanthropists,...
Berkshire Hathaway, the $300 billion conglomerate that Warren Buffett built, is among the world's largest and most famous corporations. Yet, for all its power and celebrity, few people understand Berkshire, and many assume it cannot survive without Buffett. This book proves them wrong.
In a comprehensive portrait of the corporate culture that unites Berkshire's subsidiaries, Lawrence A. Cunningham unearths the traits that assure the conglomerate's continued prosperity. Riveting stories of each subsidiary's origins, triumphs, and journey to Berkshire reveal how managers generate economic value from intangibles like thrift, integrity, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and a sense of permanence.
Rich with lessons for those wishing to profit from the Berkshire model, this engaging book is a valuable read for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, family business members, and investors, and it is an important resource for scholars of corporate stewardship. General readers will enjoy learning how an iconoclastic businessman transformed a struggling textile company into a corporate legacy.
Lawrence A. Cunningham is the Henry St George Tucker III Research Professor at George Washington University Law School. He has been a professor of law and business for more than twenty years at Boston College, Massachusetts, George Washington University, and Yeshiva University, New York. He is the author of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America (2013) and editor from 1994 to 2001 of the leading treatise on contract law, Corbin on Contracts. His writing has appeared opposite the editorial page in The New York Times, Financial Times and the National Law Journal.
> Overview Berkshire Hathaway, the $300 billion conglomerate that Warren Buffett built, is among the world's largest and most famous corporations. Yet, for all its power and celebrity, few people understand...