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Authors: John Weeks; Lisa Duke
Published by: Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2021
Version: 08.02.2021
Revision date: 05-Mar-2021
Length: 14 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

This is part of a case series. 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(R) 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 B describes how the LEGO Group brings the Leadership Playground to life in the company.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2018-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global

Featured company

LEGO Group (The)
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 5.77 billion
Industry:
Toys and games

About

Abstract

This is part of a case series. 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(R) 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 B describes how the LEGO Group brings the Leadership Playground to life in the company.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2018-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global

Featured company

LEGO Group (The)
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 5.77 billion
Industry:
Toys and games

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