Restoring Common Sense in Business


I guess today's martin lindstrom. He's the founder and chairman of lindstrom company. The world's leading brand and culture transformation group operating across five continents in more than thirty countries is also the author of a new book. We're gonna talk about today. Called the ministry of common sense how to eliminate bureaucratic red tape bad excuses and corporate bs. So martin welcome to the show. Thank you. John is a place to hear your voice again so since the subtitle has a bunch of stuff that people think of as negative. What led you to writing this book. I tell you what. Let's meteoroid it many years ago. Charlie bell where the former former former c. e. o. of mcdonald's reach out to me and he said hey martin i would love if you could reinvent the happy meal and i said sure bring it on a just have one one condition. Can we make it healthy police and challenge. He was a really good man so he said absolutely so my vision was to make six year old each broccoli and we began with storytelling so we had the forest the forest broccoli and the cucumber with the of Tomatoes with blood and kids lofted and parents loved it and even the franchisee loved it. We will not these pilots. So i went to the headquarters of of mcdonald's chicago and they said interesting. I never heard that word before in that context so i went back to europe as it is interesting. Nothing happened for two years. Nothing was silent for julius. Finally the new happy meal arrived and it was that drum rolls. It was a happy meal as we know it today with issue sugar bone and the french fries now included an apple. And that was where. I learned that if you wanna do transformations of organizations if you want to understand your consumer company have what i call an immune system so as a consequence of that. We had to the employed two psychologists to work with me in order to understand the dynamics in the corporate world because a good idea is no longer enough. A great consumer inside is not enough. You need more and you need to understand that immune system that defense mechanism for chains and that actually led me to writing this book. Because i realized very quickly that eighty percent of your work is to operate at lack of common sense and bring it back and then to transform copies towards the good. I'm sure anyone who's worked in particularly at corporate environment has experienced. I think they've come a little bit immune to it because it's just the way it works but has certainly experienced. Can you give a couple of examples of of what what is just really common rampant corporate. Bs longtime do you have. I mean i mean. I'll just let from from the end. Kobe nine jamming on a plane. The other day. Right as i sit in my seat ready for takeoff the frankly sounding was on the speaker saying. Welcome ladies and gentlemen aboard this flight. I regret to inform you that all cabin service has been completed suspended on the entire flight. Also need to inform you that the laboratories in front of the plane has been blocked. There are only now reserved for capping personnel. And by the way if you wanna use laboratories you can use the one laboratory in the back now that was because of covid nineteen. I don't need to tell you. But then i just need to ask you. That was thirty. Seven is a rose in this in this plane. So i literally had to pass by every single one hundred and seventy nine passengers and end up in a long line where i could breathe in a freshly brewed smell of toilet mixed with covid nineteen and then i was sitting in the seat. The second idea that came up with these contact tracing forms now in the old days you had to fill out all sorts of stupid forms with no one looks at an array and so this was the latest and greatest in that innovation pipeline. And here the first question was listened to this john. it's crazy. the first question was have you been in close proximity with any people you don't know within the last to allow us. The only thing you had to do was basically just to turn your head ninety degrees and that would be a stranger sitting there so you could take yes to that box. This hakin bulks was even worse. You see people don't have pen symbol because also with us multiple devices so bright. Young talent was barring the pen from the stewardess in the very front row and that pen was not walking through the entire plane and the second chris was. Have you taught anything in one have taught over the last twelve hours. I had to tick yes to that one as well. This is the minister of common sense in reverse gear. I call it call it common sense. I call it nonsense really because he's the rally not we've completely lost sense of what makes sense and for me. Common sense is seeing things as they are. Okay and doing things as the to be done set in another way. This is super important. It is to treat customers and employees as they themselves would expect to be treated. And i do think as companies grow. They lose that sense of reality the more busy dealing with himself than actually thinking about what the customers are. The consumers want so. I have to tell you one. I work with a lot of small business owners but i early in my career took project or pretty much from anybody and so i this project with a very large corporation and it was a very small project two thousand dollars semi invoice off and i gotta check ninety days later. Of course that was for two hundred fifteen thousand dollars and change that translates to france. But that was about one hundred times what i build them and i saw. I called them up. You know i thought about cashing the check. But i called them and said you know there's been a big mistake here you know. How do we rectify this well. After getting transferred to three different people. I actually then was sent for different forms that i had to fill out in order to return money to them. But i tell that story all the time because it was it was a watershed moment when i said you know what. I'm just going to start working with small business owners we. We won't have to deal with this anymore but you're so right and and johnny. It happens everywhere. But i think he's my view about this. Frankly speaking we living in a period now was unprecedented. And i don't think there's anything anymore. Cold going back to work uncalled going forward to work and by that i mean we onto situation right now where we actually can afford to reset what we once did. Rather than desperately replicating an old format and squeeze it into new way of living. I mean think about it. We all sitting in front of suman teams eight hours a day weighted. Those holly breaks go. I don't know no on any of the calls have been sitting on. Believe me just like you. I'll be sitting on a lot of those kohl's single person ever said. Hey guys at. We just had a five minute break here at just need to go to the toilet just a hole infamy. None of what people do is put the post pitcher on the sneak out to the toilet comeback after seven minutes and pretend like they're were not no away and then they asked. The question was awesome minutes. It goes so we can go back in a circle and even worse. We then continue exactly one hour. No matter how mundane a relevant conversation is because we actually did so that problem. Thirty five minutes into the conversation but the realities. We don't wanna look like we skulking or cheating in any way shape or form so we just decide to hang on clinch on and then they alternate break up here is. I have to jump on another team guys. Sorry and that sort of the ultimate. Kat is common sense going here because my property as we adopting a world of trivialities from the past onto a new format of living. And i think right. Now it's time for us to sit alone in the stat in the sand. Basically say hey. That's redefined my daily lives. Let's break it down. See where. I'm doing things which are ridiculous. Look at things which just make sense and then build up from scratch. This is the moment to do it right. And that's why published this book now because quite frankly i haven't done it myself. I'm sitting doing it right now. Realizing how much time wasting

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