The LEGO Group leadership playground: Energizing everybody every day (A)
Case Study

The LEGO Group leadership playground: Energizing everybody every day (A)

19 pages
February 2021
Reference: IMD-7-2205

In 2018, the LEGO Group defined a new way of leading to enable the company to move more quickly, to make the right decisions, to deliver its mission and the commercial momentum that sustained it, and to shape the LEGO® culture in a positive way. This new way of leading would need to be modeled at the top of the organization. That was certain. But CEO, Niels Christiansen, and Chief People Officer, Loren Shuster, believed that the task of defining the new way of leading should not be done by the Executive Leadership Team or by HR. It should be developed bottom up. The LEGO Group was no longer the patriarchy it had once been under its founder, but Shuster saw that patriarchal assumptions about leadership lingered in its culture. If the LEGO Group was going to move towards a balanced system where leadership responsibility was more distributed and less hierarchical, it would be ironic to impose this top down. A better way to start would be to invite people from different levels and different functions of the organization to answer the question: What kind of leadership do we need in the LEGO Group and how can we embed the new way of leading into the fabric of the organization so that it can be self-generative? Case A describes the process that the LEGO Group used to create what they called The Leadership Playground and bring it to life in the company.

Learning Objective

How to create a leadership model to change the culture of the LEGO Group in a bottom-up way.

Keywords
Leadership, Culture, Change, Culture Change, Human Resources, Talent Management
Settings
Lego Group (The), Toys and Games
2018–2020
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© IMD 2021
Language
English
Related material
Teaching note
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Looking for something specific?
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics