5 Leadership Lessons from Lego

In a time when rapid innovation and fierce competition are a matter of form rather than circumstance, strong leadership is essential and can often lead to a complete transformation of a company.

But what’s the true secret to great leadership? Why is Samsung overtaking Apple in smartphone sales? How did LG get to be one of the fastest-growing producers of home appliances and electronics?

A recent article in Forbes, Leadership Lessons from LEGO, draws some compelling parallels between best practices in leadership and… Lego building. That’s right, Lego.

Turns out Lego can teach us a lot about the building blocks of true leadership. Here’s a look at how some manufacturers are using those lessons to surge ahead.

Lesson 1: Start with what success looks like

Volvo Hits the Mark with New Van Damme Ad

Volvo shows how easy its dynamic steering works in this 1.17 minute video. We don´t need to hear about the hours that Volvo invested in creation, design and manufacture to appreciate this awesome level of innovation and technology.

Lesson 2: Consider interchangeable parts

Fighting Fire with Innovation

Companies today have to look to standardizations and platform approaches to accommodate the varied requirements of customers. But even with standardization there has to be interchangeable parts. Producing between 250 and 350 fire-trucks a year Rosenbauer works with around 80 platforms and more than 2,000 options. For all companies interchangeable parts are no longer a consideration they are a must.

Lesson 3: Instructions are only so helpful

How Top Innovators Close the Knowing-Doing Gap

Knowing there is a problem in the organization is really just the start; a vital one, but the realization alone is not enough to solve the problem. Putting measures in place to transform business is actually the key to being successful. You can have a set of instructions but if you don´t have the structure, leadership or the right tools companies will not meet their objectives.

Lesson 4: It’s more fun when more people are working together

Systems Engineering, 5 Key Takeaways and How Top Innovators Close the Knowing-Doing Gap

High-performing innovators in best-of-class companies cite collaboration as one of the main reasons why they outperform competitors in organic growth and in-house product development. When people work together even in dispersed global teams it is possible for companies to achieve success. All that needs to be put in place is a technology solution that improves efficiency and supports a multi-discipline development team.

Lesson 5: The quality of the final product relies upon the input of imagination

Product Innovation… More than a Bright Idea

Where would we be without imagination? We would lose our ability to innovate. Every great idea starts in the imagination. But planning, design, collaboration, dedication and flexibility are what´s needed to accelerate and realize that innovation and bring products to market.

Sadly, not everyone knows these secrets.

Tweet your experiences with leadership @PTC

Image: SXSW 2011 Lego Pile – 2 by EgnaroorangE on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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One thought on “5 Leadership Lessons from Lego”

  1. Thanks Ailbhe. I strongly believe that once you apply lesson 1: a clear view of success; the other areas, collaboration, knowing what to do, fun, and innovation are easier to achieve. Not only does this apply at the executive level, but project managers should incorporate these lessons as part of their project leadership.

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