Case Studies of Companies Who Successfully Shifted to a Product Culture
Some companies have successfully made the shift to a product culture for non-digital roles. Let’s look at a few case studies:
Facing the challenges of the digital age, LEGO successfully transitioned from a project-oriented to a product-oriented mindset by strategically diversifying its offerings. Beyond traditional brick sets, LEGO expanded into movies, video games (LEGO video games), and theme parks, creating a comprehensive ecosystem around the LEGO brand. This diversification, coupled with the integration of digital play elements and technology, allowed LEGO to adapt to evolving play patterns. By embracing digital experiences and extending its brand into various entertainment mediums, including movies and video games, LEGO not only remained relevant but also thrived in the digital era. The company’s successful shift to a product-oriented mindset exemplifies its ability to navigate changing consumer preferences and foster innovation.
Microsoft, under the leadership of Satya Nadella (executive chairman and CEO of Microsoft), executed a significant shift from a project-oriented approach to a product-oriented mindset. This transformation was driven by a strategic emphasis on comprehensive solutions and cloud services. Departing from traditional standalone software projects, Microsoft embraced a growth mindset, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. The company’s focus pivoted towards holistic solutions like Azure and subscription-based models such as Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Agile methodologies were adopted to enable faster, more flexible development cycles. Microsoft’s engagement with open-source technologies and collaboration with the broader tech community marked a departure from historical practices, solidifying its position as a key player in cloud computing.
GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, successfully transitioned from a project-oriented to a product-oriented mindset in managing its diverse global investments. The shift aimed at fostering adaptability in navigating the dynamic investment landscape. Traditionally project-focused, GIC embraced a holistic, product-oriented approach, treating its entire portfolio as a cohesive entity. This transition involved the adoption of agile methodologies and data-driven decision-making, enabling real-time responsiveness to market changes. The new mindset optimized portfolio composition, improved risk management, and aligned investment strategies with long-term goals, ensuring GIC’s resilience and effectiveness amid evolving global market dynamics.
The key to success in all these companies was a shift in mindset across the organization. Leadership focused on metrics showing the lifetime value of loyal customers. Frontline staff were given more autonomy and encouraged to make suggestions to improve the overall experience. And employees received ongoing training and education to build their knowledge and skills in enhancing the customer experience. The result was a win all around—for employees, customers, and the bottom line.