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Lessons from LEGO Group: assembling the bricks to grow in a crisis

IbyIMD+23 March 2021 in Videos

LEGO Brand Group Executive Chairman says its strong performance during global lockdown this year was built on a deep-rooted culture of resilience and agility. ...

In this exclusive video interview with IMD President Jean-François Manzoni, former LEGO Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp offered valuable insights for executives and companies seeking ways to prepare for and successfully navigate future crises, based on principles that inspired the Group’s turnaround 15 years ago.

Knudstorp said the Danish group’s ingrained capacity to deal with unanticipated events, the flexibility to reset and adjust strategy quickly, re-plan the year and to engage its audience via its digital channels lay behind its successful first-half results, which saw double-digit growth in sales and profits.

“The LEGO branded entities have shared a set of principles of putting people first – staff and customers, taking care of safety first and all, and then securing business continuity,” he explained. “And there, I think we have seen the benefit of not what has been done over three to six months, but what has been done over long periods of time in building resilience.”

Knudstorp, who led the interlocking toy brick maker’s powerful turnaround as CEO between 2004 and 2017, pointed to five key factors that have formed the foundations of the LEGO Group’s durability and performance through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovate for the customer

Family-owned LEGO Group, founded by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen as a wooden toy manufacturer in 1932, has embraced a highly customer-centric approach to innovation which echoed its founder’s ambitions to create products that are so compelling that you don’t need to market them.

“That meant really thinking about delivering a model that…

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