Lego Hit a Wall Because It Grew Too Quickly. Here's How to Pace Your Company

Lego holds a special place in millions of childhoods. The universal appeal of the bricks has endured for over 80 years and helped it dominate the global toy industry. So when Lego unexpectedly announced a percent drop in profits last week, and that it would consequently being laying off eight percent of its workforce, many people were left scratching their heads. What on earth went wrong?

After coming back from the brink Lego has being growing rapidly in recent years; reporting double digits for the best part of a decade. During that time it hired and spent aggressively while tripling its workforce. But as it grew it became more and more complex with new product lines and franchises.

Chairman, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, says the whole company will undergo a “reset” featuring cost-cutting, both via layoffs and a simpler business model that will entail “a clean-up of inventories across the entire value chain.”

Lego was not pacing for growth; as they grew rapidly they added more and more complexity and eventually hit their maximum capacity. Their strategy was all about executing growth but neglected to build the capabilities that they would need to sustain that growth for the future.

Strategy is only strategic when it allows you to decide what to do and what not to do. Focus is only focused when it allows you to do less or say no more often.

Here are five ways you can use focus to drive lasting growth for your business

1. Use focus to drive absolute clarity.

Just because we have the people or capital we need to launch a new product, enter a new market, or roll out a new sales tool doesn’t mean we should do it. Focus requires saying no to opportunities, tasks, and ideas that have less merit than other opportunities, tasks, and ideas.

We have to decide if the effort needed to attain the outcome is worth the time and other resources. The right focus stops people from doing some things so that they can do other things.

2. Use focus to invest energy disproportionately.

Every business has limited resources. Even in a cash-rich enterprise or well-funded start-up, resources like time and deep expertise are often in short supply. When we focus the resources that most matter to driving growth, they have more impact.

We can only achieve this focus by stopping some activities. Growth leaders understand that you can only build capacity for growth by conserving time and energy by making tough choices.

3. Use focus to align vertically.

Top-down or vertical alignment ensures that all levels of the organization understand and focus on delivering what is needed today as they develop themselves for the future. This is not possible when the business, team, or individuals are always maxed out.

4. Use focus to align horizontally.

Horizontal alignment means reaching out across the business to ensure it is delivering the right product to the right customer in the right way at the right time. This chain of activities involves almost every function in the business.

Horizontal alignment allows decision makers across the chain of activities ending with the customer to make good decisions together–at the right speed–to maximize benefit to the company, not just their particular piece of it, and for the customer.

5. Use focus to conserve resources for growth.

We waste so much energy when we lack focus and alignment across the different functions of the business. By learning to focus and then align people and other resources to that focus, you can conserve time and energy that can be used to build new capabilities for growth.

Lego has a fantastic core product, an extremely strong brand and is company that knows how to pivot and make a comeback. Although there will be some painful times ahead, this new strategy of simplification will hopefully give them the focus they need to recover and find a more sustainable pace of growth for the future.


Report: BMW X3 diesel emissions exceed EU regulations, company stock falls


The reverberation of the Volkswagen tailpipe emissions scandal is still being felt across the industry, pulling other brands under the harsh light of scrutiny.

According to a report out from Germany’s Auto Bild, the Nitrous Oxide (NOx) tailpipe emissions of BMW’s X3 diesel compact crossover exceed European regulations. In fact, the car’s respiratory-harming NOx emissions exceeded future Euro 6 emissions levels — set to go into effect in 2017 — by as much as 11 times.

The report is based upon tests performed in October, 2014, by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT), the independent nonprofit focused on clean energy that originally discovered VW’s emissions cheating. Read more…

More about Cars, Tech, Transportation, Diesel, and Bmw

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This Batshit Crazy Company Wants to Build Mobile Private Islands

Yachts are for chumps. People who really know how to spend their money get submersible yachts from Migaloo, a mysterious company that offers five different models of underwater palaces. But true evil villains just go for the Migaloo’s crown jewel: Kokomo Ailand.

Read more…

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Online Video Platform Company Brightcove Files For $50 Million IPO

Online Video Platform Company Brightcove Files For Million IPO
In May 2011, Brightcove announced the release of 'App Cloud', a software application development and management platform designed to help customers publish and distribute video through software apps across multiple Internet-connected devices.
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Integra Telecom Selects Palo Alto Networks as Platform for Delivery of Next
Integra Telecom Inc., a provider of business-grade networking, communications, and cloud solutions, has selected Palo Alto Networks and its enterprise-class firewall as the platform for Integra's planned Cloud Firewall Service product offering.
Read more on SYS-CON Media (press release)

Free Training Webinar: Automating ALM With Jenkins in the uberSVN Platform
CloudBees ( is the only cloud company focused on servicing the complete Java application lifecycle for cloud development and deployment — without any servers, any virtual machines or any IT staff. The CloudBees platform today
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Question by birthday dog: Should Obama run his re-election on a war platform like Bush did in 2003-2004 with the Iraq War?
Remember when the Bush Administration scared the hell out of America into voting for him with rhetoric like “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here,” “smoking guns and mushroom clouds” and “chemical and biological attacks?”

Should Obama run on this same kind of war platform to ensure his re-election?

Best answer:

Answer by Jimmy Carter’s second term
Go for it.

Give your answer to this question below!

I am looking for a web hosting company that will allow my site to scale up with traffic. Do you know of any?

Question by tumtum: I am looking for a web hosting company that will allow my site to scale up with traffic. Do you know of any?
Basically i want to pay for the bandwith my site uses. I looked into Amazon cloud computing. But could not figure out how to host a Tomcat application in there. Any suggestions ? thanks

Best answer:

Answer by Joey should do the trick. They are cheap and scalable.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

What is the difference between a web host like Joyent and a basic hosting company like GoDaddy?

Question by PJ: What is the difference between a web host like Joyent and a basic hosting company like GoDaddy?
I’m trying to figure out which company to use for hosting the database that will be required for my small business. The business helps clients crunch certain information using a database (likely written in php).

I was referred to Joyent and it looks like a solid cloud host, but I’m also familiar with GoDaddy and they are much cheaper. Are they in the same ballpark in terms of what they can offer?

Best answer:

Answer by Deep Purple
I haven’t tried Joyent but I’d stay away from godaddy.
Personally I have found IX to be the best of the lot.

Give your answer to this question below!