By Steve Moran
Every weekend I am in town, which is most weekends, I spend an hour at church teaching a group of about 20 fifth & sixth graders. We do a lot of playing and some pretty interesting theology. It is a very interesting age because, while in my care, most of them will go from pre-teen to teen. It is a time of big transitions.
For many of the boys, they are nearing that point where their passions will turn away from Legos and toward other pursuits, like girls . . . It is also a time where their Lego play is often very intense and sophisticated. Blake is one of my kids, who really loves his Legos. He was playing (I almost hate to call it playing because it is more serious than that) and he noticed something seriously amiss with Lego set 4429 Helicopter Rescue and decided to write Lego about it.
Here is his letter:
You have to got to admit he has a real point.
Lego is this huge multinational company that sells millions (billions?) of plastic bricks that kids love and parents curse when they step on them in the middle of the night. They get this handwritten letter from Blake that is half complaint and half a really helpful good idea, suggestion.
They have a bunch of choices with what to do with this letter:
- They could have ignored it. Most companies would, a tiny little complaint from someone who already clearly loves the brand and is not about to stop playing with Legos.
- They could have sent a standard, “Thank you for your letter,” form letter and done nothing else . . .
Here is the response:
What happened here was that a real human being read the letter, took it seriously, and responded by addressing the complaint comment proving they were serious. Someone went to the trouble of figuring out what additional parts would be needed to solve the problem he had with his set . . . remember this was not a set that was missing pieces, and send him those parts.
All this for a kid they had never heard of who was not the son of someone famous (sorry Keith).
Senior Living Lessons
When families or residents complain or offer suggestions it is never ever fun. And it is so easy to dismiss those complaints as unfair or unreasonable, or to dismiss them by saying “they just don’t understand the realities of senior living . . . ”. But I find myself wondering what senior living might look like if we took every single complaint or suggestion as Lego did Blake’s.
I am sure there are times when Lego gets letters, or more likely in this day and age, emails from kids and parents that are unreasonable and they have to say no. But what is clear here is that Lego has a culture where the default is yes.
We can do this too.