'Greetings, welcome to the High Elve's Citadel' is not the normal salutation you receive at any large corporation's reception desk. On the other hand, the Games Workshop is no ordinary company. We spent the day touring the impressive facility as part of the KIN Innovation special interest group. Having missed 'Warhammer' as a spotty teenager, I was completely unaware of the parallel universe that millions of afficionados, or 'hobbyists' as learned to call them, inhabit. Our introduction revealed that the Games Workshop has an enviable 86% market share of the table-top gaming market (worth approx £60m). With a presence of that size, we were keen to hear how the Games Workshop innovated without putting such a market presence at risk. As it was a KIN network visit, I shan't go into details here, but suffice to say they nurture and value their company memes in much the same way they develop their Warhammer and War of the Rings mythology. As one of our KIN members observed 'They seem to carry their creativity and transfer their knowledge in their bones'. Design, marketing, toolmaking, manufacture, packing and distrubution are all done on the same site, with a large chain of own-brand stores. This vertical alignment seems to have tangible benefits for knowledge transfer through the value chain, with any individual able to see the impact they have and easy connections between functions and individuals. A very successful and enjoyable KIN site visit.
Note to self - stop answering the phone with 'greetings, welcome to the dark side' .