Thought Leadership

Essential Squid Game Lessons To Adapt In Business

Since its release, the South Korean Squid Game has quickly risen to become one of Netflix’s most viewed K-Dramas to date. The series has recently landed the #1 spot in the Netflix U.S. Top 10 list and has been viewed so many times that in a bizarre case, the South Korean internet service provider SK Broadband has sued Netflix, alleging that the streaming platform’s popular show Squid Game has caused a surge in network traffic.


With its dark humour and compelling characters, each episode of Squid Game has plot twists that viewers cannot predict. While riding on this trend, here are 4 key takeaways from the series.


  1. Scrutinize Every Opportunity Before Saying Yes

Squid Game had 456 players battling it out to win the prize money of 45.6 billion in six days. However, the organizers leave out one key aspect of the game before the players sign the contract: the losers of every game would be killed.


As entrepreneurs, it is imperative to always study every opportunity that comes along, as in the case of Target’s expansion to Canada in 2015 that failed just two years later. The investment to set up stores in Canada cost the company billions and would require six years before recording profits. The brand soon realized its blunder and announced it was ending its foray into Canada, liquidating 133 stores and laying off more than 17,000 employees.


2. Find Innovative Solutions To Propel The Brand Forward

In the Dalgona Honeycomb challenge, Gi Hun almost gives up when he ends up with the most intricate shape, an umbrella. That is until he discovers an innovative method to solve his dilemma. While all the players stick to using the needle given to them, Gi Hun starts licking his biscuit profusely till it begins to melt and eliminates the risk of the biscuit cracking.


Too often, entrepreneurs get stuck in their routines and forget to innovate as they advance. However, Gi Hun showed us the importance of finding new and improved ways to accomplish tasks. This pandemic has also allowed entrepreneurs to innovate, with companies like Officiser standing out, a fitness tool designed to disrupt the sedentary lifestyle experienced by the remote workforce. The active footrest relies on the principle of zero-gravity motion simulating up to 70 per cent of the walking motion even when sitting.


3. Nurture Every Connection

Sae-byeok and Ji-Young both have painful pasts, but they learn to trust each other despite the circumstances. The two show us an essential lesson on valuing friendship and how it can be useful in the future.


Experts agree that well-connected people are often the most successful due to their relationships with others. Investing in relationships — personal and professional — can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. In order to network, it is not mandatory to attend traditional cocktail parties. Look for opportunities to network strategically in every facet of your life. Deena Baikowitz, Chief Networking Officer and Co-Founder of Fireball Network suggested choosing events and organizations that matter to you.


4. Always Be Kind

Considering the dark tone of the series, it’s impressive how delicately the characters display compassion and kindness. Sang Woo, who is ruthless, finds his humanity by the end of the game by stabbing himself to allow Gi-hun to win the prize. In his final moments, Sang-woo also tells him to look after his mother, which Gi-hun does by giving her a share of the prize money and also putting Sae-byeok’s brother in her custody.


A new study in the journal Emotion looked at acts of kindness within a working environment and showed how kindness does create a positive ripple that affects the whole workplace culture positively. The study has also shown that generosity and kindness propagate and spread. By spreading this culture in your organization, employees will not only have greater mental health but increased productivity that can help surge the growth of your company.


In conclusion, as Oh Il-Nam, the man who created Squid Game for his amusement, says, “Life is like a game, there are many players. If you don’t play with them, they’ll play with you.”