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Announcement : LEGO Ambassador Network

drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 5,879
edited May 2014 in Ambassador
The LEGO Group (TLG) have today released details of proposed changes to their Ambassador Programme.

The current programme, which has been running for almost 10 years now, provides a mechanism for LEGO User Groups to communicate with TLG and vice versa. Although the Programme provides a useful channel for communication and information sharing, it has by common consensus fallen short in some areas, and this plus the growth of the AFOL community has prompted LEGO to make changes.

For me, there are a few headline changes :

1. Currently LUG representatives ("Ambassadors", like myself) interact with LEGO representatives and each other on a single forum. Under the new proposals, TLG will establish multiple sub-forums, or "Workgroups". These Workgroups will focus on topics such as LEGO User Group management, event management, how best to utilise LEGO community support programmes etc. and will be primarily facilitated/managed by Workgroup Leaders. These Workgroup Leaders will be experienced fellow AFOLs drawn from the Ambassador pool rather than LEGO employees, although LEGO employees will apparently monitor the workgroups and get involved with discussions as they see fit.

2. The LEGO Ambassador will become the primary point of contact between TLG and the LUG they represent, i.e. the go-to person for everything. Currently, many LUGs have different individuals managing various different community support programmes in order to share the workload.

3. LUGs will have to nominate an Ambassador in order to gain access to any of LEGO's community support programmes.

As stated by TLG in their FAQ document, the change of name from Ambassador Programme to LEGO Ambassador Network is so as to "highlight a fundamental shift in how TLG works within the LEGO user ecosystem. TLG wants the title to reflect that this is a communication tool to network not only between “TLG and the LUG Ambassador” but also “LUG Ambassador to LUG Ambassador”."

I was one of the Ambassadors consulted by LEGO on the new proposals, and I have to admit to having some concerns which I've fed back to the company. These are principally what I perceive to be a greater separation between Ambassadors and LEGO staff and a greater emphasis on peer-support as a result of the Workgroup/Workgroup Leader structure, and the increased burden placed on individual Ambassadors by expecting them to be the primary point of contact with LUGs. Nobody disagrees that the existing programme needed an overhaul, however, so we just have to hope that the changes have the desired effect.

You can find the official announcement plus various supporting documents on the LEGO CEE blog (click here to view)

D.

Comments

  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 538
    It seems that TLG wants employees to work for them for free. They recognize the need for 12 "workgroup leaders" to handle the burden of various tasks related to community engagement. But the 12 people that accept those roles have to give up being a LUG ambassador (become LUG neutral).

    I'd be happy to be a LUG ambassador as a volunteer if asked (Both LUGOLA and OCLUG already have de facto leaders though) because that seems fun and rewarding. But what's the incentive to be a workgroup leader? It sounds like an unpaid intern role. I imagine that they will have a hard time recruiting for those.

    TLG has historically underfunded CEE. I think we are all grateful that the program(s) exist, and that a few resources have been funded. But really, for a multi-billion dollar corporation to expect 12 people to work for them for free, seems a bit miserly. TLG should just make those paid LEGO employees.
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,352
    They don't want just anyone as a workgroup leader either.

    "Workgroup Leader
    Must have been a LUG Ambassador for a minimum of 2 consecutive years
    Must maintain a global mindset and minimize any self interest bias"
    also

    "2 Go through an interview process with the CEE staff "

    I'm not an Ambassador, have no idea what is and isn't on the forum, but it sounds like they want to make a forum run by AFOL's to cut the time required to staff and cost to the LEGO group of running the scheme to a minimum, it also sounds like some of the roles will be very time heavy.

    I have no idea how busy the forums are, how many new LUG's join up and need help but it sounds like LEGO basically want other Ambassadors to do all the work for them. It also seems like they want to increase discussion of events between LUG's, however I can imagine with the very impersonal nature of the forum, organising LUG's being less forthcoming with information that anyone could end up getting hold of and more resistance to giving out figures for show costs for example.

    I don't know of any LEGO run shows, so all the shows increasing interest in LEGO are generally run by fans of LEGO and must cause a large interest in LEGO and subsequent increase in sales. Not to mention how many of the large sets are purchased by AFOL'S, you'd have thought they could spare a bit more with the massive profits they seem to be raking in.

    You could imagine a large dive in sales and interest in LEGO if all the LUG run shows were stopped for a few years and annoyed AFOL's stopped buying.
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