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Almost every business wants to be known for being innovative, but in a world saturated with systems and bureaucracy, not all businesses have the mindset that will get them there.  When it comes to innovation, I often recall a quote by former business professor of the University of San Francisco Oren Harari, ‘The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.’

There are only a handful of companies that have stood the test of time, and Danish toymaker Lego stands out among them. Voted the most popular toy of all time,[1] Lego has endured through an array of changes, remaining an unwavering and dependable company through all of the social and economic changes of the last 70 years. It brilliantly exemplifies the ability to move with the times without compromising core values, and businesses would do well to learn from the company’s history and habits.

Here are 5 essential lessons we can learn from Lego:

Britain’s first female Member of Parliament, Lady Astor, once observed: “The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change nothing – or everything.”

A number of years ago, a team of researchers conducted a fascinating and somewhat callous experiment in an effort to understand the process of conditioned behaviour.

As part of the experiment, scientists placed five monkeys in a room with a staircase in the centre and a bunch of bananas hanging at the top of the staircase. Whenever one of the monkeys would try to climb the steps to reach a banana, the scientists would use a hose to spray the other four monkeys with ice-cold water — much to their irritation.