In the mid-1990s the Lego Group was composed of 45 companies which disseminated Lego toys in 133 countries around the world, with estimated annual revenues of 2 billion approximately; this company is considered the fifth largest toy company in the world. The fabulous global success of Lego can be accredited to the inventiveness of the Lego System toys and to the cohesive advertising tactic of this organization. This company (Lego brand of toys) was formed in 1932 when Christiansen, a carpenter from Denmark, agrees to spread his business of carpentry by industrializing a woody line of toys who named Lego.
After decades of plastic bricks made it for create means of transportation, structures, or anything else imaginable, Lego began experienced struggles and increasing competition at the same time due to internet based games and a fluctuating client led decreasing revenues; they find a way to respond and that was how Lego Mindstorms get in the game; to become a tremendous success since they turn into the leading reasonably priced line of robots.
The Mindstroms models increase an electronic unit, sensors, motors and a complete group of software blocks, and when combined with a computer machine transmit to the clever Lego brick through a shaft of light. This generation of robots industrialized by Lego Group result in an interesting toy formed from a sensor block programmable utilized in didactic models; the first form of this robots was in the market in 1998 and named commercially as RIS (Robotic Invention System), the following version was in the market in 2006 as the NTX style; on August, 2009 the Lego Mindstorms NXT 2. was in the market as the latest version. Being part of the original members of the Mindstorms team would have been fun, challenging but never relaxed or easy; there are a number of factors that will push our stress limits, working with a limited budget and having in charge the development of a programmable Lego brick, that has to be in the market in a limited time would keep us up more than one night.
Another concern that will keep us awake was the limited funding, in consequence the Mindstorms team had to use individuals contained by the current system, this decision generate struggle since they expected to keep their existing job while serving in Mindstorms project, thus initially the fact that they were only functioning with two participants receiving support in rented time was some way stressful, plus the challenge of handling other individuals demanded two dissimilar skills. When handling workers and partners could be more than stimulating, and of course, can be the reason of a wakeful night-time.
Since the team established a large net of partnership (a computer producer, a museum, a software corporation and a children’s learning organization) we will have the challenge that this relationship can be a catastrophe or a good favorable experience; this partnership were different compared to the usual LEGO manner, they were working with these partners as equals as a part of the Mindstorms strategy. We know from experience that healthy relationships, the ones that stand almost any test are founded on values of parity, since both of them feel they are contributing in the same way that they will later get in return.
Constructing relationships with business associates, founded on an enterprise as equals may introduce some challenges, not there when one partner has the control over the others. But in today’s operational environments and organizations very little things can be performed without help; so the work is usually completed with teams or over partners like Mindstorms case, they were a fragment of a net of relationships, performing in the most operative way since they need to progress rapidly and effectively, allowing trust and inspiring alliance.
Smith idea of creating the organizational chat was discarded since he notice that Mindstorms development would be hurt if so, deciding instead try another strategy by developing a good communication between team members and not only with the purpose of talking about work; since he knew that employees normally respond positively, holding any chance to share thoughts when heartened. Communication is crucial to success and they realize how important it was by effectively establishing the environment for a friendly communication, even though the benefits were many also the challenges too, due to arduous environment.
The fact of including in the team discussion a diversity of stakeholders carries out benefits and drawbacks. When a team includes individuals with a combination of aptitudes consequently the team counted with a diversity of skill and capabilities; that use to support and help one another. Ideas can be shared through all the teams’ members in order to improve the final knowledge, utilizing recommendations from the different team associates. Any organization often faces complications and problems, but the reality of having a worthy team like Mindstorms will, facilitate tasks and will help to solve any situation in a better, easier and roductive way.
Without going too far, at one point they faced the problematic that Mindstorms creation was too complicated for kids and would not vend. The benefits of having this team led them to confirm their vision of position the Lego Corporation as the foremost dealer of child robotics in the customer marketplace, redoubling their efforts to establish their product as distinctive in the front line of Lego products. To be devoted to the team is a huge part of cohesion, a team where everybody is tied up accomplishing a mutual goal, united in tasks and also in their exchanges as organization.
There are many the benefits, but also this prolonged partnership lead to struggle or in some cases a lack of it; Smith realize that individuals of the Mindstorms team weren’t challenging each other with their dissimilarities of judgment; and they had to make them talk in a straight line to each other in order to solve the conflict, it is very important to know that some individuals are not contented functioning in teams and will take time to understand how to perform efficiently in the team, there are stages the manager must know, essentials to be taken to help teams become more cohesive along the road.
Even though sometimes social relationships are not determinant to the success of the team, they can be a pretty good help if our desire is to have members committed to the work and managers should take their role in the process; when we include a variety of stakeholders we are supporting and increasing task cohesion without making any other section of the team stronger than the other, the flow of different ideas is an important stage in this relationship; it is a necessity of the team the presence of varied points of view; companies flourish on thoughts from their workers; and the more different the individuals are more will be the ideas produced, and these ideas will double the chances of dig out good ones, creating a source of information to extract data from. Undoubtedly this was a good strategy of Lego Mindstorms.
After top Lego managers designated more resources to TechToy products, Mindstorms team has to sweat their job, when we are the head of the company (managers, executives, etc) sometimes we imposed decisions that are not the most appropriated, we made mistakes, and it will be on our shoulders correct our actions on time; after top managers of Lego collocated resources behind TechToy, the team of Lego Mindstorms has to double efforts, they were committed to their job and back up was not part of the plan; Lego managers supported TechToy team because hey were convinced that Mindstorms would not sell and TechToy team worked with old-style products, more sequential, slower and the hard technology was the same, just the soft technology of how the team functions was not.
Even though they have to endure a double promotion with TechToy, Mindstorms get better publicity, in some way due to the extension of their partnership, being measured as the most successful launch of Lego fresh produces, becoming also widespread in educational markets. This case study is an example of how teams can perform together; having a variety of stakeholders and with the challenge of create a successful new product, facing dissimilar troubles and some of them generated within the company and top management.