Monopoly and the evolution principle

Monopoly is a game that most of you are familiar with. My children, from the time they turned 5, have enjoyed playing and have learned how to beat my wife and I on a consistent basis! The game offers us a glimpse of what life is really like – asset management, cash flow, unforeseen elements affecting our future, and, sometimes, things even result in some time in jail!

Monopoly was created in the early 1930s by Charles Darrow. He was a struggling salesperson and inventor who had more time on his hands than he had planned due to the depression. Rather than wallow in pity over his circumstances, he worked on updating an old game that he remembered playing as a child. He added some new elements, and started inviting his neighbours over for dessert and entertainment. His game was addictive – others also had time on their hands and, before he knew it, he was selling hundreds of his board games for $4 each.

Eventually Charles sold the rights to his game – known around the world as Monopoly. It went on to sell over 200 million copies and became the best selling board game in the world.

This week Hasbro, the new owners of Monopoly, introduced a new edition of the game. In this version, each player works with a debit system as opposed to paper money, new game pieces have been introduced (such as a cell phone), and property taxes were raised (to help people in Toronto not to feel as bad). At first, I reacted negatively. Why are THEY changing it? Will we have to “lay off” the banker? It was great the WAY it was.

As I thought about my internal dialogue, I realized how much this might resonate with others in regard to their career struggles, such as changes related to their position or their industry. Often we notice changes, but we think they will not affect us – as someone at Ford said recently; “We didn’t realize the impact that high gas prices would have on our sales.” Funny – Toyota and Honda can’t keep their small cars in stock. Some companies embraced reality, while Ford hoped it would be a “fad”.

Hasbro used the evolution principle. More than $137 billion in debit transactions occurred this past year in Canada. Hasbro recognized this as a trend. Cash is going the way of the rotary phone – we know it, and Hasbro knows it. By keeping their brand culturally relevant, they will ultimately sell another 200 million games. Better that then go the way of the dinosaurs.

Today’s 10 Minute WORKout:

Think about what changes are occurring in your industry. How will these changes affect you? Name one thing that you can do to take advantage of these changes.

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