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Innovation Lessons from The Lego Movie

LEGOs are synonymous with creative expression and turning ideas into working, functional objects or prototypes. Who hasn’t stared into a box of LEGO pieces and thought, “What can I make out of all that?"

Similar to how our 10-year-old selves played with LEGO, we apply tools and resources at our disposal to create businesses that reflect a part of ourselves, our philosophies and our strengths.

But what happens if an idea doesn’t work? One of the things people say is, ‘That was a failure.’ It’s not merely a defeatist attitude, but under closer examination, there is always a lesson to be learned.

Regardless of whether you prefer LEGOs with instructions or without, The LEGO Movie provides lessons about building a culture that nurtures and cultivates innovation:

  • Minifigs, and people, come up with better solutions when they are free to be themselves. You need master builders who can create the next amazing thing out of a pile of molded plastic pieces, but you also need planners and executers who understand what it takes to put those great ideas in to use.

  • Innovation also means looking at old systems in a new way. While you are looking for the next big innovative idea, don’t forego assessing what is already available that can be tweaked or utilized in a new and different way.

  • You never know where your next big idea will come from (in other words, don’t believe the prophesy). As you think about where your business is headed, and what you need to get you there, there is a good chance your hero will also come from a background you do not expect.

What initiatives do you have that are labeled as ‘failures’? With a bit of Lego attitude, they could be your next business success! To continue reading, go to


Leading Innovation: From Concept to Customer Value™ provides you with a framework, best practices, and tools required to make innovation pay off. It will help you understand your role as an innovative leader and serves as a critical focal point for appropriately prioritizing and deploying the effort and energy of all involved.


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