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Friday, 29 March 2013 10:58

How Samsung bored its company into success

Written by Nick Farrell



Company rose from the dead after three day speech

Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee managed to save his company from mediocrity by boring his staff to death in a three day ordeal in a German hotel.

Lee wanted to outdo his dad and yet when he visited a Southern California store he found Samsung's TV collecting dust in the corner while Sony and Panasonic was getting top billing. In June of 1993, while on his global tour, he landed in Germany at the Falkenstein Grand Kempinski Hotel in Frankfurt and called in Samsung's hundreds of executives for a big meeting.

For three days he bored them to death with his vision for the future of Samsung and what the company had to do to become successful. He took breaks in the evening for people to sleep. In Samsung the ordeal is known as a the "Frankfurt Declaration of 1993" and featured the famous quote "Change everything but your wife and children."

From that day on, Samsung started its ascent from second tier manufacturer to the biggest TV and smartphone maker in the world. Samsung thought that the speech was so important that he bought all the furniture and decorations in that German conference room, shipped it to Samsung's Korean headquarters and recreated the room. Photos in the room are "forbidden," and "people whisper when inside."

Our guess is that staff are so terrified that Lee will bore them to death for three days again, they really made a go at it.

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Nick Farrell

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