Each year, over 40 million visitors come to the Mall of America – twice as many as the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. It is crazy! Some may call it commercialism at its worst; locals are turned off by its enormous size and many find the mere concept of it to be excessive, but the Mall of America really is a visionary enterprise.

The gigantic entertainment and shopping complex was built on the site of the former Metropolitan sports stadium. Instead of seeing a forsaken plot of land right across the road from a major airport (and its accompanying noise), developers took a risk and built a bemouth with 2.7 million feet of retail space plus an amusement park complete with roller coaster plus a million-gallon aquarium plus a wedding chapel. Would you have invested billions in putting such a monster in an abandoned lot, in a state known for its harsh winters, in a location that borders the low population states of the Dakotas and Iowa? Not many would have, but 20+ years later the mall is still alive and well.

There are many specialty stores in the mall, but many are the same stores that you can find all across America. What makes the Mall special is that they are all there together – all 520 of them – so you can find almost anything (if you’re willing to walk a literal mile to get to it). It is a case of the sum being greater than the individual parts.

How can you follow the lead of the Mall of America and capitalize on the value of a collective? A job fair draws more candidates than individual recruitment ads. A craft show attracts more vendors and customers than a solo display. A medical building is more appealing to doctors than renting in disparate places.

And your organization is better off when it is in proximity to whom? You don’t need to be so large as to require your own zip code (like the Mall does!) but together is usually better.

Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America

Sources: Mental Floss and  Minnesota Fun Facts





About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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