The current situation with the COVID-19 virus has triggered us to rethink what would be the best use of our creative power, culture, tools and time. In such harder times, coming back to our foundation and our mission was an obvious first step: Making each child bloom as a whole through innovative learning spaces.
Now that children are mostly home, this mission resonates differently. Without giving up on our exciting and promising established product line, we now aim to design and build, along with your support, a new learning environment generation which is best suited to educational needs of such times, that is at home.
The first thing you can do, should you want to take an active part in this project, is to share with us your own perception, challenges and reality. This will help us structure and guide our creative processes in the development of this new, home-suited solution. Here are some forms to collect this input:
Making each child bloom as a whole through innovative learning environments is what drives what we do at Lü. As you know, for the past 2 years, we have deeply transformed school gyms in over 20 countries and, alongside educators, partners, and team mates, have created unique immersive learning spaces where kids learn in a way they had not before.
We kickstarted 2020 with a lot of momentum. Our team was getting smarter, better, and bigger. We had undertaken some major research projects to help us have a more meaningful impact on kids and their education. We were also expanding our impact across the world and reaching kids from an even greater variety of cultures.
And then, an invisible, yet deadly nemesis, imposing things such as physical distancing made its appearance on the world’s stage and rapidly challenged our ways. Isn’t it crazy that a simple rule such as having people stay 2m apart can challenge the very core structures of our societies?
So, here we stood, with a product sold to schools, installed in gyms and creating environments where children were encouraged to interact with one another in ways they had not before. Without mentioning the logistics and supply chain implications, we definitely had a core problem here. In short, this basically halted us to a dead stop like so many other companies.
Being a mission-driven business
Being a mission-driven business means that our mission comes first and our product and services are in support of that mission. In our case, having an active contribution to children’s development through innovative learning environments should come first. The ÜNO, DÜO, MÖBIL hardware and operating systems were put together and installed in gyms all over the world to support that objective in an impactful manner on kids’ education.
Luckily enough, we had laid the foundation of our mission-driven approach in the last years. Even our business structure had been deeply modified to support this vision. We favored a different management style where empowering employees and collective intelligence is celebrated and where management is there to coach, and fuel creativity and expertise. This is and will stay our modus operandi moving forward..
One of the main advantages of being mission-driven is that in tougher times, you have a stronger support from the community because what matters most is not actually selling your products but achieving the goals laid out by your mission in an impactful manner. It also gives a greater sense of creative freedom as it allows the whole business to distance itself from the actual products and services and think differently and creatively about core issues.
Lemons, bring ’em on!
Considering that a major part of our operations has been completely stopped for obvious reasons, what do a mission-driven company such as ours ought to do? You guessed it right! Reassess and put every creative fiber we have to work so we can find new ways to have an impact on children across the globe.
It’s crazy to think that we have, in the past year, put in place so many elements that will allow us to move forward throughout these tough times. Developing a culture of creativity through collective intelligence, developing a large array of methodologies and tools to guide all our creative processes to reach precise goals in a unique and innovative manner, and, above all, to have focused all of what we do on a mission. No one could see this coming but the simple fact that these things were at the center of what we do are the same core values that will make us carry Lü forward.
So, we have a strong mission, a culture behind it, an incredible team, lots of tools and components developed over time for our main products, quite a bit of time on our hands and a great challenge facing all of us and the education of our children. And, most importantly, we have you. What would our mission and our collective intelligence culture be good for, if we did not try everything we can to build and find solutions with you and for you?
We are very optimistic about this new inventive journey we are undertaking. In our mind, all these resources and elements aligned and working collectively towards a common goal is an unexpected yet very positive outcome from this situation.
How Can You Help?
We have entered a design thinking process which starts with an empathy phase aiming to better understand the problems we are trying to solve. In short, in the first step we want to understand the current situation and specific needs and challenges from a variety of points of views (teachers, parents, children, technology companies, government organizations, etc). At this point, we are trying to leave no stone unturned to find the best opportunities for us to have a greater impact.
Our goal is to work with you from the get-go and create the opportunities for you to contribute, participate in the creative process and basically build this in collaboration with our team. As every endeavour has to start somewhere, we have created the following two forms for you to start sharing your point of view and insights:
From that point onwards, we will come back to you and ask you to contribute or simply give your opinion at every step of this process so we can find the best way to answer your needs.
Last but not least
It is important to note that it is not because we are entering this design process that we are giving up on our main product line. The best way to see this is that we want to take advantage of the current situation to develop new innovative educational environments that will, as a result, be complementing our main product line.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
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