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Leading By Design: The Ikea Story - Bertil Torekull


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[amazonsearch]Leading By Design:  The Ikea Story[/amazonsearch]

 

Halfway through this one. The book was originally released in 1997 but it lingisticually it sometimes reads like it was written in the 30s. Maybe the English translation is better.

 

That notwithstanding, it paints a pretty good picture of the development of Ikea and is mostly a biography on its founder Ingvar Kamprad. As such I think it should probably be read by all serious students of businesses. In some ways the similarities between Kamprad and Buffett are almost eery. Sure, these characteristics (like extreme thriftiness, extreme focus, focus on core competence etc) may only be correlations... but somehow I suspect a causal relationship between these attributes and wealth. Another thing that they have very much in common is that they both are  identified with their respective hometowns. In fact much of Ikea's brand relies on being Swedish. But it's not only that. The particular part of Sweden in which Kamprad grew up, Småland, is very famous for uncomparable Lutheran work ethic, thriftiness bordering on miserlines and successful entrepenurship. I'm not sure to what extent a mere readthrough of this book can capture this deep-rooted culture, but, from what I can gather, I think the closest US equivalent might be the midwestern ways of Omaha.

 

Grab this book if you like business biographies and want to read about one of the world's most successful companies of the post-war era.

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  • 5 years later...

Perhaps a good time to re-visit as the above-mentioned book was as much a biography of the man as a story of the famous brand.

http://www.irishnews.com/news/worldnews/2018/01/28/news/ikea-founder-ingvar-kamprad-dies-aged-91-1243700/

 

It seems that his successes had a lot to do with energy, flair and focus, combined in an unusual intensity.

On a related note about a piece he wrote in 1976:

http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/pdf/reports-downloads/the-testament-of-a-furniture-dealer.pdf

 

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