Martin Lindstrom is the Founder and Chairman of Lindstrom Company, the world’s leading brand & culture transformation group, operating across five continents and more than 30 countries. For three years running, Thinkers50, the world’s premier ranking resource of business icons, has selected Lindstrom to be among the world’s top 50 business thinkers. Lindstrom is also a high-profile speaker and author of seven New York Times best-selling books. His most recent book, The Ministry of Common Sense, dives into how to eliminate the bureaucratic process in business, which is the topic of this enlightening episode!
[1:50] When Martin was 12 years old, he created his own Legoland and convinced a local print shop to sponsor him. The next day, roughly 130ish people attended his theme park, including Lego’s lawyers. They offered him a job.
[4:25] Due to the rise of technology, our children are losing some very key motor skills.
[6:15] We often talk about B2B or B2C interactions, but what we really need to focus on is human to human interactions.
[7:00] Whether we like it or not, all of what we do is irrational.
[7:20] Martin shares some key insights he’s learned by not owning a phone for the last two years.
[8:10] By having a phone to distract us all the time, we never get bored. This is a problem because a lot of beautiful things get created out of boredom.
[10:15] The first thing Martin had to learn when he gave up his phone was to learn how to be on time again.
[11:00] On average, we receive 350 emails a day! Technology is wonderful, but it’s also killing our time.
[12:30] When it comes to time management, there are a lot of cool hacks out there, but executives are still not getting it right.
[13:35] Martin shares what we’re getting wrong about meetings in our new digital environment. No one thinks short meetings are a good thing.
[16:10] We have “chicken cage” syndrome. After being stuck in a cage for so long, when the doors are finally open to greener pastures, we don’t know what to do. We go back into our cage because it’s safer.
[18:35] People are afraid of change; they are afraid of the unknown, so you have to think a bit creatively to help people feel comfortable enough to adapt to a new environment.
[21:15] There are some legitimate fears organizations need to think through, like legal and HR, and the red tape behind this can stop innovation and progress.
[24:10] The problem with a lot of compliance departments is that they don’t actually interact with the consumers. Martin wanted to try something different.
[26:40] A good practice when creating new rules in a company is to also remove an old rule in the process.
[27:55] Martin cultivated a campfire environment within an organization. This facilitated a new way for people in different departments to talk about the inefficiencies in the company.
[32:00] The first thing you have to do when you’re in a crisis is to realize you’re in a crisis. Sounds simple, but people don’t do this.
[32:55] We might be aware there is a crisis going on, but we still believe we can recover 50% or 75%. The reality is, your business is gone and you need to stop lying to yourself.
[36:00] People are resigning positions because they’re frustrated by the lack of common sense in the organization. However, there is a way to change this.
[39:15] If done correctly, the ministry of common sense should be earning you money.
[41:45] Martin shares an example of what Hyundai did differently during an economic crisis.
[43:30] If you define fear, some of it is due to lack of control, the unknown outcome, and uncertainty of how long the crisis will last.
[46:10] Don’t ask the usual suspect to solve the problem. Use the entire organization to solve your big problems.
[46:50] Listener challenge: Take a blank piece of paper and write down all the frustrations you have every day at work. Ask your co-workers to do the same.
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Quotable Quotes“The ministry of common sense is really looking at every aspect in the organization and mapping it down and saying where do we get the most value for money. Most important thing, this function should earn you money.” Click To Tweet “Around 85% of our behavior every day is subconscious. It really is irrational behavior. Yet, we believe we are always deeply rational in everything we do.” Click To Tweet “By having a phone, we never get bored anymore. And boredom is the foundation for creativity.” Click To Tweet “Technology is wonderful, but we’ve also gotten to a point now where it’s killing us more than it’s actually enhancing our lives.” Click To Tweet “We need to cross-functionalize an organization. Compliance can’t just be something in a corner. Involve them and make them feel a sense of empathy. That’s when you break down all this red tape.” Click To Tweet “[If you want to pivot.] You have to wake up now and realize your business is gone. That’s it. You can’t continue what you’re doing right now with your company.” Click To Tweet
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- Websites: Martinlindstrom.com & Martin on LinkedIn
These are the books mentioned in our conversation with Martin