Goodbye LEGO and London, Hello MTV and New York!
After 7 years at LEGO, I made the decision to join Viacom as their Senior Vice President of MTV Digital Studios, leading teams in New York and Los Angeles. I relocated from London to New York from November 1st.
How could you leave LEGO?
…is a question that I am often asked since the announcement came out. The answer is quite simple: I had an awesome job at LEGO. The team was amazing and we worked with the best partners and launched some awesome projects. But the job was done. We had accomplished what we set out to do (Fast Company on the LEGO Social Media Success)
I joined LEGO back in 2011, when we set out to build the digital platforms from scratch. I put a 5-year plan in place and we made LEGO one of the leading brands on digital platforms globally. The task we set out to do was delivered and we had taken it over and beyond. For me, it felt like a natural time to move on.
The first four team members at LEGO.
Is there a right time to move on?
It is very easy to become comfortable in a corporate job and I have seen many people that have ended up staying too long in the same place. I have had some fairly long stints in my career because I know that it takes time to impact large companies and to create fundamental change. However, I think that after a number of years in the same company it's always important to ask yourself…
Am I still being challenged?
Am I still developing skills that are useful outside of that specific company?
Am I staying in it because it's safe and convenient?
The long-term tradeoffs that you take by choosing the easy path is that you end up not learning and developing as fast as you could. You will become a one company specialist, which in the end will mean that your market value will likely drop and your career will rely solely on the success of that individual company. In a world of constant and ever increasing change, I find this a risky strategy.
With this new challenge, I have changed my focus in (at least) 3 different ways:
From product marketing to content creation. I love to create content and I believe that traditional marketing is going to be less important in the future compared to the development of content and next gen storytelling. I do like to create consumer sales and see how efficient digital conversion can happen, but content can move more than products, it can move people, emotions and opinions.
From the toy industry to a broader focus on youth, music and pop culture. Pop culture and music are areas that define generations. Neither has ever been out of fashion and it is the demography of 15-30 year olds that are the key. To me, being able to focus on the epicenter of the future culture is hugely exciting.
From Europe to the US The first time I moved to New York was back in my early twenties and I have had the experience of leading teams in US for the past 7 years. But to be US centric has always posed a bit of a challenge. It is always easier to create content, marketing or sales in a place where you have grown up and where you know the cultural cues. When you move and have to do it in a place where you have none of these experiences, is where your competencies and methods need to become generic. This is way more challenging, but in doing so, you learn to go from making decisions based on “gut-feeling” to create a systematic approach to any challenge you might be faced with. I am super excited to take on this new learning opportunity and can’t wait to see what it will bring for the future.
The press from my departure from LEGO and signing with MTV
By: Todd Spangler
By: Matt Lopez
By: Imogen Watson
BROADCASTING & CABLE
By: Jon Lafayette
By: Lindsay Stein
By: Geoff Weiss
By: Selina Chignall
By: MI Editor
By: MI Editor
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/mtv-taps-former-lego-executive-lars-silberbauer-for-By: Market Watch