IKEA is a privately-held, international home products retailer that sells flat pack furniture, accessories, bathroom and kitchen items in their retail stores around the world. The company, which pioneered flat-pack design furniture at affordable prices, is now the world’s largest furniture retailer. IKEA was founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Småland, Sweden. Today, the IKEA chain has stores in 25 countries across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. IKEA was named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2006 and 2008.
IKEA has used the Four Rooms of Change all over the world in all of its businesses and with all levels of staff and management since 1996: in China, Japan, North America, England and Scandinavia to mention a few examples. Today, IKEA is the world’s largest user of the Four Rooms of Change and holds its own corporate license. Two special editions of the material have been published especially for IKEA, one in Swedish and one in English and are referred to as ‘The Four Room Apartment – Furnished by IKEA’
Tomas Oxelman is the professional within IKEA who initiated the work with the Four Rooms of Change and he is still one of the key people responsible for its use within the organization over a decade later. His thoughts on the effectiveness of the tools are below.
Testimonial from IKEA
The Four Rooms is a really big thing within IKEA today and no other model has even come close to spreading as it has. I myself am a little surprised at how a model can have such break-through power. Now to be honest, one should bear in mind that we work with a light version of the model as you know, and many have a limited understanding. But maybe that is what has made it so popular. Everyone can learn the basics relatively quickly, which is a must today if lots of people are to hook in.
Lately it has made its entry into Japan. A manager who is working there has made The Four Rooms a must-know-model for all managers. And it works!
Tomas Oxelman, Manager IKEA