Lego Group’s Culture of Performance (NRF preview)

The recent economic crisis has reminded business leaders of “the basics” of business performance; developing a great strategy is not enough. All participants need to be able to execute the strategy and the organization needs to empower them to make the right decisions, better and faster. Doing so requires processes and systems that can adjust to market conditions. But more importantly, it requires that your organization’s culture is geared for performance.

In my upcoming session at NRF this year, I will be joined by Henrik Amsinck, Lego Group Chief Information Officer and VP. I’m honored to share the stage with Henrik. Not only is Lego’s story a great one to have the opportunity to tell, but Henrik embodies the spirit that drives the performance of this amazing company.

Every employee I have talked to leading up to this presentation shares the same passion for Lego, their products and their customers. Even talking on the phone, it’s almost as if I could ‘hear’ the sparkle in their eye when they talked about Lego. Indeed, Lego has a strong culture of performance and it shows. In the first half of 2009 the company reported 20% results and outpaced the competition. Read a great coverage of Lego’s story published by the Daily Telegraph this past December here.

However, as you will find out in our session, Lego didn’t always have the stellar results I’m alluding to here. The cultural changes they have gone through allowed them to come back strong and equip themselves to gain market share when others were struggling. So – how did they do it? And how can your organization do the same?

While we will share the details at our session next week, I want to give you a taste of what you should expect. There are three key aspects of Lego’s turnaround we can all learn from:

1) Commitment from the top: as we describe in Drive Business Performance, culture changes start at the top. A new leader often joins the organization with intentions to define new standards of performance; an approach that provides employees with the tools to be better informed and the expectations of better accountability. In our session on Tuesday, we will tell you how Lego helped its employees to expect and respect data-driven decision making.
2) Focus on the basics: too many organizations build processes, reports and dashboards without asking basic questions on the validity and general agreement employees have of the metrics that drive the business. On Tuesday, we will talk about how Lego focuses on a “language of performance” and how they determine what should be a global standard versus what should be uniquely defined for a locale.
3) Compete into the future: few organizations have implemented the type of information management system Lego has across structured, unstructured and social data. A core value of Lego’s mission is connection with their customers. However, many of their customers are boys age 6-10. How do you think they connect with them and request their feedback?

The first 200 attendees will receive a complimentary, signed copy of my book, Drive Business Performance. Join us on Tuesday, 01/12/2010 from 1:45PM – 2:30PM in Room EXPO Hall, 3D04.

This session will be interactive and we will ask you to participate throughout. In fact, if you’d like to send out questions, join the discussion on the Culture of Performance LinkedIn group @ http://tinyurl.com/o89vep

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Bruno Aziza
Co-author, Drive Business Performance
Follow @ http://twitter.com/brunoaziza
Join on Facebook @ http://tinyurl.com/ykcwkap
My site @ http://www.brunoaziza.com

References: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/re tailandconsumer/6825911/Lego-play-it-again.html

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