Can someone at Games Workshop please take an Organizational Change class? Please. You’ll thank me for this one, promise.
We’ve talked about change before and how people are naturally adverse to it. However, there’s a number of key things that leaders can do to help pull off a change.
Could you imagine Apple holding a daily press conference to show us every new feature of it’s latest phone one by one?
It’s the Economy Points Stupid.
Before we get into how organizational change can be improved, it’s important to understand the keys to success from a previous releases. Age of Sigmar came roaring out of the gates but didn’t include points. Clearly, points were critical to the success of the revamped rule set. I’ve read a few articles around the internet that mention Games Workshops current success was due in large part to the increased listening and feedback. While this is true, and listening is great, don’t let your marketing team take all the credit.
AoS turned around because you added points.
The feedback has been great. it’s the icing on the cake. However, without points that feedback would have been useless. (Certainly, I will concede listening resulted in the knowledge they needed to add points, but seriously, they should have known they needed points.)
Want people to change? They need to see results now. Not next year; the sooner the better. Whenever you make a change you want to show people that the changes you’re making are good, insanely great. You do this by creating early wins. Early wins are things people can see are resulting in positive results right off the bat. To a certain degree, the streamlined rules are an early win, people can see some units are getting better and may come off the shelf. That’s great.
However, without points we’re still at a loss on how it all fits together. The points are the secret sauce; if you did a god job on the points, letting us see said points would have been an amazing early win. At the speed of the internet maybe you’ll release points before this article gets released. Before May 15 would have been great in my opinion.
These are the people who sell your change. A small group of committed individuals who go from group to group and show them the changes are amazing. You really should have gotten your FLGS teammates together, given them the rules and allowed them to do demo games. Think of it as a soft launch. Want to see the new rules? Head to your local game store and get in a sample game. Will some of them leak the rules and points ? Sure, but what’s wrong with letting us know what’s good?
Could you imagine Apple holding a daily press conference to show us every new feature of it’s latest phone one by one? No. Ugh. That would hurt. What you’re doing now is painful.
Wait, Wait, Don’t sell me.
Okay, I will admit this is anecdotal but I don’t get access to sales figures so we’re just going to have to deal with what we got. The FLGS’s I’ve been too and friends have been too say that sales are struggling. It’s clear this extra long preview is to blame.
Even if you think everything is good no matter how hard you try there are going to be winners and losers. Okay fine, I could be wrong, but history says I’m not.
If everything is a winner then why not show us the points? Those army previews you’re publishing from tournament players are cute but where’s the meat? We need the points. Show us the Points!
Anecdotal evidence says 40k sales have stalled. Entice people to go to the store with points. Let the FLGS owners show those interested players that the change is good what they’re in for you’ll start to effect change; let them parlay that into a sell. Those players that have tried the game at the store and have seen the points will then go out and tell others the changes you’re making are great. Word of Mouth is one of the most powerful sales tools on the market right now. Then when you’re ready to show us the new edition, and being recruiting new players, you’ll have an army of evangelists.
Detractors, aka Trolls
Yup, you’re going to get these guys. Yes, they’ll show up, get a demo, and hate everything. Odds say you’re going to get some converts. You’re not going to convince everyone but if you give no demo’s then you’ll have zero converts.
Learning for your Mistakes, while making new ones.
If the AoS release was botched it’s because you didn’t maintain the points system and it seemed like a money grab. He who has the biggest collection wins. The Old War setting is still destroyed, the core rules are 99% intact, but you added points. It’s not hard to see the variable here.
In 40k you made sure to let us know you’ve kept the points, great first step, but you haven’t show them to us yet. Further, you’ve made this roll out agonizingly slow. Let us build some lists while we wait. Let us consider the new rules with sample armies we can adjust. You’ve given us the core rules now give us some points so we know what to buy!
Yes, you have a group of tournament organizers on your team, that’s great, but you could have done more and included many more FLGS owners. Then you would have had bottom up change; even if the core of the change is driven from the top down.
You’re doing good, you can do better.
I hope you guys give us something worthwhile soon because I honestly would like to go out and buy an 8th edition army already. Then again, maybe I just proved you have a lot of pent up demand and it’ll be a tidal wave of sales. For those with tons of disposable income and time buying, building, and painting a ton of models at once will be great.
For those who like to build an army bit by bit (i.e. people on a budget) this slow release is having me spend my money elsewhere.
The Gang is Back Together: Episode 138