LEGO revived its company not by looking at more ways to expand its products, but by actually removing some design freedoms from its products creators. And the idea actually worked.
It may sound counterintuitive, but LEGO found that design -- at least within its walls -- thrives with some constraints. That might send chills up the spines of some in the design world. The idea of fencing in designers, forcing them to play in a confined space, runs counter to the notion that design needs to be set free. But the component limits gave designers just enough direction to come up with some of the company's most successful products to date. "If you put guiding principles in place, you empower people to make the right decision," says Smith-Meyerr, who runs LEGO's New Business Group.
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