Crowdsourcing in the toy industry: LEGO Ideas

Crowdsourcing in the toy industry - LEGO IdeasCrowdsourcing has long held quite a bit of promise: who would not want to have customers participate in funding, marketing, or developing products for themselves and thus relieving the company from some of these tasks.

In the toy industry, crowdsourcing has recently made an appearance, so it is interesting to take a look at what has happened there and to consider what could happen in the future. The main focus of this post is LEGO Ideas, as it is by far the most visible example of crowdsourcing in the toy industry.

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Marketing to girls: My Little Pony and LEGO Friends and Elves

Marketing to girls - My Little Pony and LEGO Friends and ElvesDespite the advances achieved in the past 100 years, we are still on the journey towards gender equality as a society and the road ahead remains long and winding. However, I think there have been a number of beacons of hope within the past five years when it comes to the “girls” toy market, and this movement is not going to stop.

In this post, I will examine a number of toys directed at girls and the way they have been marketed, and sketch out what the future could hold for toy manufacturers adventurous enough to fully venture into the still relatively unexplored realm of educational and empowering stories and toys.

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Four lessons from QuickyBaby on continuous improvement – and video game streaming

Four lessons from QuickyBaby on continuous improvement – and video game streamingInsights are acquired from surprising places. One such place for me when it comes to continuous improvement and work in general is live video game streaming on Twitch.

In this post, I will dig into four behaviors that are regularly exhibited by the popular World of Tanks (an online team-based tank battle game) streamer QuickyBaby, adopting which can possibly make you a popular streamer, but which can also prove to be useful in many other pursuits in life.

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Can LEGO live up to its mission in the digital space?

Can LEGO live up to its mission in the digital spaceLEGO is famous for its mission, “To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” However, when it comes to the digital space, especially video games, LEGO has had a hard time finding ways to actually turn this mission to reality.

In this post, I examine what LEGO has been doing in the digital space, where LEGO could shine, how competitors have already arrived there, and what LEGO could do to live up to its mission in the digital.

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LEGO as a platform and as service

LEGO as a platform and as servicePlatforms are all the hype nowadays. Whether it’s iOS, Android, Uber, or Airbnb, it seems that platforms are set to inherit the Earth.

I have examined the platform hype and the deeper meanings derived from reinterpreting platforms through a lens of service-dominant logic before, and in this post I want to turn the focus to LEGO.

What? LEGO is not a software company that provides a platform for other companies to sell their wares, what has it got to do with platforms? While it is different, I claim that LEGO is, indeed, a platform, and I’ll show you why and why it matters – and how to go beyond that to LEGO as service.

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A lesson from privately-owned companies: long-term thinking

A lesson from privately-owned companies - long-term thinkingThe stereotypical privately-owned company is slow whereas a stereotypical public company is twitchy and run on a quarterly basis. Although these may be stereotypes, they do contain a grain of truth as well. For a company to be great, it needs to learn something from both perspectives.

The lesson to be learned from many privately-owned companies is long-term thinking.

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The building blocks of a dynamic organization

The building blocks of a dynamic organizationI have written about many themes that touch the corporations of today in this blog over the years. Themes such as Lean, social business, dynamic capabilities, Lean Startup, intrinsic motivation, and service-dominant logic each have had their time in the spotlight.

With all these themes and theories, what is the big picture? I believe there is, in fact, quite a coherent picture that can be painted from all these themes, and that picture provides some much-needed answers on what a dynamic organization looks like and how to build one.

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It’s not the world of platforms, it’s the world of service

It is not the world of platforms, it is the world of servicePlatforms are all the hype nowadays. It seems as if the silver bullet to success for any enterprise is to become a platform following a trend set by the iPhone with which Apple disintegrated Nokia as a smartphone giant.

However, I argue that this belief in the power of the platform is ultimately misplaced and only manages to capture the superficial instead of the core underlying principle. In order to understand why, we need to turn to service-dominant logic.

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Book review: FinancialServiceLogic by Pekka Puustinen

Book review: FinancialServiceLogic by Pekka PuustinenCompanies are increasingly striving to become more focused on customer needs and better serve their customers. After all, what is a company without customers? Yet, what exactly is the relationship between the company and the customer, and what should companies do in practice in order to truly provide service for their customers?

In his new book, FinancialServiceLogic: In the Revolution of Exchange in Banking and Insurance, Pekka Puustinen serves us as a guide on a path to a deeper understanding of the nature of exchange, the multiple dimensions of value created for all parties through interaction, and what it means to see your customers as human beings.

While the book focuses on the finance sector, the core tenets of the book are in no way limited to finance alone. The lessons from the book apply to any business, and the discussion is not so specific to finance that managers from other fields could not see how to apply it.

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