Ben Aronson, Coffee Break, 1997
The procrastinations of an aspiring CPA. San Francisco, CA.
Did you know Legos almost went bankrupt, which would have ended its legacy we all know so well?
According to Lego: 'LEGO' combines two Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well.”
And play well many generations did since 1932.
But in 2004, the brand was apparently holding too close to its tried and true ways of doing business with electronic toys beating out sales. The company, The Lego Group, and beloved brand was becoming obsolete.
Read more about the 40% sales drop between 2002-2004 via Time.com 2012 piece and what it did right/wrong up until then, but essentially the company had debts close to $1 Billion and about to shut off the lights.
Then the recession hit, helping this cheaper toy gain a strategic advantage. It had a choice to make, however:
Either it kept doing business as usual or innovate.
Fortunately, they had the courage to take chances most usually avoid doing during better days… they even went so far as to challenge their employees to give ideas that could spark growth. (GREAT leadership by the way.)
Today, Lego is the third largest manufacturer of play materials, and doing really cool things with its brand you may have seen:
- Opened retail stores with hands on building projects and merchandise included Lego-themed board games, 3D projects, and straight-to-DVD films.
- This month, “The Lego Movie" was launched with Warner Brother Pictures in theaters
- Master builder roadshows (such as replicating the White House featured at the National Building Museum)
- LegoLand and Lego Discovery Centers
- Other special projects that will launch this year, bringing to life important national milestones relating to American History
Now, the company is doing really creative stuff to revitalize the brand and add meaning and value for more generations to enjoy.
It’s exciting to watch a good come back story unfold.
The takeaway: Don’t stop innovating. Build it into your team or organization’s culture. Collect and reward good ideas that are used. The answers are there… you just need the courage to look for them and try new things.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face she inquired, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stress and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed - incapable of doing anything.” Always remember to put the glass down.
Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.