Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leading by Design: The Ikea Story” as Want to Read:
Leading by Design: The Ikea Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leading by Design: The Ikea Story

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  35 reviews
For the first time ever, visionary businessman Ingvar Kamprad gives his enlightening account of the making of an industry leader. Since its inception in 1943, IKEA has become much more than a household name in more than 30 countries -- it symbolizes an original concept, a dedication to quality, a distinct design style, and, most importantly, convenience for the harried ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1995)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leading by Design, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Leading by Design

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  314 ratings  ·  35 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Leading by Design: The Ikea Story
"Where does my insecurity come from, really, & what has it meant to my work & to me as a person? & what do my other shortcomings mean?...Translated into business terms, it's about wide safety margins. I like to say: Those of us in charge may never gamble with the employees' trust, i.e. they...should never have to worry about us risking their jobs. The company should never have to go out without any money...” (pp315-6)

Ingvar Kamprad invited the financial journalist Bertil Torekull to
Fab Mackojc
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book up while shopping at IKEA one day because I wanted to know the story of how the store came to be such a successful globally recognised brand. It is mostly a biography on IKEA's founder Ingvar Kamprad and also talks about how IKEA started but doesn't provide many actionable business lessons for entrepreneurs. The best part of the book was the appendix where a copy of IKEA's manifesto "The Testament of a Furniture Dealer" is included for the reader. You can also find the ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

«Філософія ІКЕА ґрунтується на золотому правилі: проблеми — це можливості. Труднощі створили для нас небачені шанси.»

Історія успіху всесвітньо відомої компанії чи біографія її засновника? У книзі є і те, і інше, однак Інґвара Кампрада та його історії на сторінках все ж більше (і це він сам зауважив). Його відданість справі мотивує (він міг прийти в офіс о 6 ранку, до певного моменту знав найменування всіх товарів), його практичність та впертість надихає (постійно порівнював ціни із іншими
The story and book itself is quite useful - I hope I learned a thing or two from it. From the other side, the more author tried to whiten the protagonist, the more I disliked both of them. But, ultimately, you don’t need to believe in their sincerity or like them as people or businessman. It is a sort of a small window into their world and the world is worth glancing at.
Olena Sovyn
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Книга містить цікаві елементи, але загалом написана не цілісно і складається враження, що просто зібрано під одною обкладинкою все, що можна було зібрати без фільтрації чи потрібно це включати в книгу чи ні.
Mikhail Konstantinov
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Когда Ингвар начинал предпринимательскую деятельность, бабушка Ингвара всегда первая покупала у него его товары (хотя ей они не совсем были нужны) - это вселяло в него уверенность и давало толчок к дальнейшим шагам в бизнесе.
Еще Ингвар создал суперсложную юр структуру, которая позволит развиваться дальше в том направлении, в котором он хотел, молодец мужик.
Местами скучновато.
(по русски книга называется Есть идея! История ИКЕА)
Trung Nguyen Dang
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing book. Part of it may be attributed to the translation, the majority of it is the content. Despite having access to the founder (in fact requested by the founder to write this book) and other key people in the firms, the book still lack lots of insights and thoughts, compared to other books of the genre. The writing is not that nice, perhaps due to the translation. The author is a Swedish journalist and this is his only book. Don't waste your time with this book.
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This book has been hard to get through -- despite my love for all things IKEA. It feels like part of the issue is the translation from Swedish. I wanted to get deeper feelings and insight into how things happened because as organic as it seems, I think there was more substance and strategy.
Colin Buchanan
Not strictly “read” in its entirety. And I’d not really recommend it. And, if you read on, you’ll see a suggestion of who might be able to, in a literary sense, unbox and assemble a better version of the tale of IKEA. This one felt a bit...flat packed.

I bought this book second hand out of curiosity. IKEA is so globally potent and present as a brand, we own a bunch of IKEA stuff from bookcases to knives and forks. And their system - marketing, manufacturing, distribution, point of sale, pricing -
Earl Grey Tea
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
After purchasing our first house, my wife and I ended up going to IKEA multiple times to purchase furniture that was both to our liking and within our budget. After a couple of times, I noticed this book for sale and decided to pick it up to learn more about this company that we have developed a mild sense of loyalty to.

After reading this book, I can definitely say I learned quite a bit about the history of IKEA. The first third of the book started off quite strong as the author went through the
Joachim Beaucaire
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mba
جاء ميلاده في 30 مارس عام 1926 قرب بلدة فقيرة صغيرة في جنوب السويد، ونشأ في مزرعة تعود لجده الذي انتحر قبل مولده بسبب عجزه عن دفع ديون مستحقة على هذه المزرعة، فهبت زوجته لتحافظ على ملكية المزرعة، ولتعمل على تربية حفيدها انجفار كامبرد Ingvar Kamprad ، الذي راقب جهود جدته الحثيثة.

عاب الطفل الصغير انجفار كسله وتأخره في الاستيقاظ مبكرا ليساعد والده في حلب أبقار المزرعة، ولذا حصل على لقب الرأس النائمة من أفراد عائلته، و بقي كذلك حتى حصل على هدية خاصة به في ذكرى مولده: ساعة منبهة لكي تساعده على
Незважаючи на мою цікавість до цієї теми, до кінця книгу я дочитала тільки через те, що не звикла лишати книги на півдорозі. Вона вийшла пласкою, трохи схожою на рекламний буклет. Мабуть так і було задумано, адже книга вийшла зі згоди засновника IKEA, але замаскувати це авторові таланту не вистачило.
Myroslav Hryshyn
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Very boring book. Have read it after "Shoe dog" and definitely will choose the last one.
Alessandro Orlandi
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: entrepreneurship
Very interesting to understand how IKEA started. From a child selling pens. Good story.
Patricia Sahlberg
Dec 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Läste inte klart boken. Ingen mening att lägga tid på tråkiga böcker.
Saravana Sastha Kumar
A wonderful and insightful peek into the world of IKEA and the legendary Ingvar Kampard.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read, nice insight into the mind and actions of a driven genius.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to distinguish between IKEA as company and its founder - as this books shows, the two are interweave. From selling by post from a small town to having gigantic stores almost everywhere around the globe it's a fantastic journey that is well told in the book.
There are many interesting business/history lessons (e.g. setting factories and Poland and in Russia and its issues). There are some boring parts too (e.g. explanation of the formation of all group companies - which sounds like they
Jeremy Batchelder
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: irp
The book Leading By Design The IKEA Story by Bertil Torekull is an in-depth biography of Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA. This book describes the early events in Kamprad’s life, leading up to the founding of IKEA, and then describes how IKEA has grown with the leadership of Kamprad. Kamprad began selling boxes of matches at a young age and grew this business into a furniture superpower. IKEA has been heavily influenced by the founder’s values such as innovation, thrift, and simplicity. Success for IKEA ...more
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
"The mass of people can achieve a high material standard of living only through the efforts of entrepreneurs obsessed by the idea of satisfying a market. ~ Ingvar Kamprad, Leading By Design, Page 154.

I found this book a very tough one to read. I don't know if it was because the author was Swedish and all the swedish words throughout, but it was tough to read and it took me 2 years to finally finish it.

This book starts at the younger days of the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad. It shares how he
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
The book provides a very interesting look into the history of the company and it's founder, and the internal and external forces that continue to shape and drive it. The writing of the author is rather annoying, with his constant display of his Roman culture and privilege -- far from the professional journalistic style one would expect in such a book. The way he sometimes fawns over Kamprad is equally annoying. The parts written by Kamprad himself, though much more personal, are actually much ...more
Barbro Kinnunen
A book that should be mandatory to uphold your swedish citizenship! This truly is something every swede should now as a piece of our modern history and because it's made Sweden famous around the world. A great story told about a man with great ambitions and outstanding beliefs of mankind and what people can achieve. A swedish saga filled with sucesses and failures, how to live according to what you stand for and therefore expect of others. Told with such love and respect, but also with very ...more
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought that this was between a 3 to 3.5 star book. Their were some very good aspects of it, such as the initial sign of entrepreneurship when he was young and how it progressed from there. It was also interesting to read how the trade fairs, furniture makers and trade unions conspired against him, because of his cutthroat nature and how he overcame those obstacles. The one area that I did skip was when he talked about ownership and other financials. I thought that it was a bit drab and wasn't ...more
Will Mego
Nov 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'd mark this as incomplete. I entered with boundless enthusiasm, only to be met by a sort of childlike book, as though the foundation of a new genre in publishing, YA Business. I suspect it's a matter of translation, but who knows. It's pretty much IKEA from IKEA's perspective. Perhaps I needed to read deeper to see the darker side the author always claims he'll talk about, but everything seemed pretty glossy. I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone, and I don't see myself picking it up again.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it liked it
First, the book I read is not the one on the Goodreads site, which needs updating. I read The IKEA Story by Torekull that was fully updated in 2011 and can be purchased at IKEA stores. I'm a big IKEA fan, so I enjoyed learning a lot about the company. For one thing, people's notion that everything sold at IKEA is made in China is quickly debunked.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, biographies
I actually read the most recent version of this book, published in 2011, but unavailable on Goodreads. I really didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It was very hard going at times. There were moments that I loved, like the part about Ikea's philosophies for business.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lots of detail and stories from the creator of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad. Mostly the story of how IKEA grew and how its concepts came about. Just wish there was more about the actual design of the furniture and items. Also, this was written in 1999, and there is probably much more to be said today.
Carl-johan Sveningsson
Loved it, wanna give it away to someone who reads Swedish and will take good care of it
daniel dirnfeld
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting book
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Konsten att läsa tankar
  • Заборонений: Історія життя і боротьби Василя Стуса
  • Покушение на искусство
  • Физика на тъгата
  • Gala-Dalí
  • Добрі новини з Аральського моря
  • Maktspelet
  • Breakfast at Sotheby's: An A-Z of the Art World
  • Tuer le Père
  • Hautnah
  • Сім місяців добровільного рабства
  • I Can Read You Like A Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People Are Really Sending With Their Body Language
  • السيرة النبوية
  • Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart
  • My Life And Work (The Autobiography Of Henry Ford)
  • A Man for All Markets
  • S@motność w Sieci (S@motność w Sieci, #1)
  • Le jour où j'ai appris à vivre
See similar books…
“A better everyday life means getting away from status and conventions -- being freer and more at ease as human beings.” 4 likes
“Once and for all, we have decided to side with the many.” 2 likes
More quotes…