Strive for the IKEA Effect

I was in a board meeting the other day for a non-profit organization struggling to engage its constituents. Along with the staff, we were trying to find ways to keep people involved and motivated over time. So much work goes into programs and communications – but sometimes people still fail to listen and engage.Rather than focus on the reasons for the struggle, we decided to discuss the examples of success. Why were some programs especially successful?

One early discovery was that the programs organically conceived by participants, rather than staff, seemed to have a higher success rate. In addition, the programs with especially large programming committees (i.e. number of people leading the event) were also quite successful.It was at this point that a fellow board member chimed in with the concept of the “IKEA effect.” When people buy furniture at IKEA, they are forced to assemble it themselves. As a result, people report a high degree of satisfaction with their IKEA furniture – largely because of the greater sense of ownership from the labor required to assemble the furniture.

For those of us that cook, we know that the meal always tastes better after the labor of making it. This do-it-yourself-to-love-it-more phenomenon presents an invaluable opportunity for leaders of teams – and brands. When you can set up projects for others – or even a product – with a dose of assembly required, you are likely to garner a higher level of commitment.

Of course, by having their customers assemble their own furniture, IKEA runs the risk of poor execution and improper assemblies that reflect poorly on their brand. Similarly, we must accept the risk of deviations from our expectations as a reasonable cost for empowering our teams and our customers. In many cases, the benefits of do-it-yourself are likely to outweigh the costs.

As leaders, we must challenge ourselves to let others create what we have in mind, if only to accomplish the ultimate goal of engaging others.

More insights on: Clients, Leadership

Scott Belsky

more posts →
Scott Belsky is Adobe's Vice President of Community and Co-Founder & Head of Behance, the leading online platform for creatives to showcase and discover creative work. Scott has been called one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company, and is the author of the bestselling book, Making Ideas Happen.
load comments (21)
  • Eddie

    It’s true, IKEA runs the risk but I’m sure their designs were made thinking about making the transportation and assembling process very easy.

  • Contemporary Furniture

    IKEA furnitures look great but for me DA Stores are still better than them in terms of quality and price.

  • Beatrice Celestin

    My experience with IKEA is that I remodeled my workplace with IKEA furniture for certain spaces and to give you an idea, I had 119 boxes of stuff from desks to shelves and sofas. I followed the booklets to assembled my furniture and that’s when I realized the genius of IKEA, it was so easy and logic. So i am confirming with my experiences that The IKEA concept is a genius one.

  • cast aluminum patio furniture

    I have to see what happens after I finish putting the larger cabinet. So far, I have been able to put this project by myself, except for help to get these about 8 ‘pieces of wood and particle board.

  • Leather Sofa Furniture

    IKEA now has a wood procurement policy, too. Its code of conduct for its suppliers … Called ‘IWAY,’ it sets uniform sustainability requirements for IKEA’s …

  • bathroom sinks

    But managers strive to make things clear and simple, to keep face-time to a minimum. … such as IKEA, sporting-goods chain Decathlon or Inditex’s Zara. …

  • bathroom sinks

    Returning home, he founded Seaside Furniture Shop and was the proud owner/operator for 57 years until his retirement in May of 2010. Seaside Furniture’s website notes that, “Seaside Furniture Store in Toms River, NJ has been offering quality, ..

  • Vancouver Oak Furniture

    I think IKEAs primary goal with flat-pack furniture was to save money on shipping and shelf space but that’s not your point. Certainly people get a sense of accomplishment from being forced to complete some objective tasks themselves, but I also believe in leadership by example. Before expecting a customer or employee to do something I like them to know I would and could do it myself first.

  • Vancouver Oak Furniture

    I think IKEAs primary goal with flat-pack furniture was to save money on shipping and shelf space but that’s not your point. Certainly people get a sense of accomplishment from being forced to complete some objective tasks themselves, but I also believe in leadership by example. Before expecting a customer or employee to do something I like them to know I would and could do it myself first.

  • Oak furniture

    I am impressed, I have to say. Really seldom do I come across a site
    that’s both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the
    nail on the head. Your opinion is important; the matter is something that not a
    lot of people are speaking intelligently about. I am really happy that I
    stumbled across this in my search for something relating to it.

  • Contemporary Furniture

    modern furniture, contemporary furniture, European furniture, Italian furniture, designer furniture, home furnishings, modern contemporary furniture

  • Contemporary Furniture

    modern furniture, contemporary furniture, European furniture, Italian furniture, designer furniture, home furnishings, modern contemporary furniture

  • Contemporary Furniture

    That’s Good :) 

     

  • Modern Retro Furniture

    Daphne Furniture in Rustan’s makati & Shang – DaphneOP (Daphne Osena Paez) Twitter conversation.

  • Todd Anderson

    It seems like there’s a science to the exact amount of DIY you want. For example, if the IKEA furniture just came as a couple of logs with instructions on how to use a table saw and power sander to make the parts, (most) people would not be that excited about it. I think what’s really important about IKEA is that it lets you feel like you’ve made something while not requiring any additional tools and generally taking under an hour. I wonder if there’s a specific amount of time cost, or a specific amount of required outside materials (batteries not included) that turns a DIY project into feeling like a waste of time.

  • dissertation online help

    very nice post! thansk a lot for sharing!

  • Custom Bookshelf

    What best policies and strategies of a non profit organizations should adopt for proper customer response.

  • modern furniture

    My practical exposure to IKEA is that I redesigned my place of work with IKEA furnishings for certain areas and to present you an plan, I had 119 containers of products from companies to racks and couches. I followed the booklets to constructed my furnishings and that’s when I recognized the professional of IKEA, it was so simple and sense. So i am credit reporting with my ordeals that The IKEA strategy is a professional one.

  • Custom Bookshelf

    I think the main goal with IKEA flat-pack furniture was to save money on shipping and shelf space, but it’s not your point. Of course, people get a sense of accomplishment from being forced to implement some objective tasks themselves, but I think a good example. Prior to expect a customer or another employee to do something I like to know that I wanted and could do it yourself first.

  • Sofa111

    Winning projects included Mountain Equipment Co-op, IKEA Brossard I enjoy seeing what fellow ASHRAE members are doing to strive for more energy.

  • Fabric Sofas

    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    Instilling a do-it-yourself ethos in your team, and even your customer base, can encourage ownership and engagement.

  • Radiator Cabinets

    Great blog. All posts have something to learn. Your work is very good and i appreciate
    you and hopping for some more informative posts.
    thank you……..

  • Custom made furniture

    i think IKEAs main objective with flat-pack fixtures was to reduce costs on delivery and display space but that’s not your point. Certainly people get a sensation of success from having to complete some purpose projects themselves.

  • Living Room Interior

    Instilling a do-it-yourself ethos in your team, and even your customer base, can encourage ownership and engagement.

  • Cheap furniture living room

    The 99% provides insights on productivity, organization, and leadership – all designed to help creative people take action and push their ideas forward.

  • Modern Radiator Cabinets

    It seems like there’s a scientific disciplines to the actual quantity of DIY you want. For example, if the IKEA fixtures just came as a number of wood logs with guidelines on how to use a desk saw and energy sander to create the components, (most) individuals would not be that energized about it.

  • bespoke bed

    Good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a good one.

  • kids beds

    Visit 99%’s profile on Vimeo. Use Vimeo to share the videos you make with the people you want. Its free to join and really easy to use.

  • Modern Classic Furniture

    “Today, we’re just standing up for the 99 percent,” said Matthew Wengerd of Champion, a leader of Occupy Warren. He was referring to what he described as …

  • Modern Dining Table India

    In the United States, the slogan became “the 99 percent.” The protesters who took this slogan echoed the title of an article I wrote for the magazine Vanity ..

  • Furniture Shops

     I am typing this blog at my inexpensive, white IKEA desk. An IKEA dresser lurks behind me benevolently. If it were nighttime, I could sidle over and switch

  • Travis Isgrigg

    Be creative in your space. Match different furnishings and look for furniture sales to have cheaper items.

  • office furniture nyc

    It is a great concept but I doubt that management would embrace this. Most managers that I have worked with don’t even know the concept of DIY.

  • Marcela

    I’ve got lots of furnitures in my self storage in fort lauderdale and they are all beautiful and sturdy. Base on my experience with IKEA, its concept is good.

  • geno white

    i appreciate the fact that this tip is “about the ikea effect”…but ikea furniture can be overwhelming to assemble correctly by alot of people…and moving & transporting ikea furniture in the process of relocating habitations, is not any fun. some of it is cheap lite-weight wood, designed to stay at one location. the “ownership” principle is partially correct though, akin to making something in high school woodshop.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,479 other followers