I’ve recently been trained to use LEGO® Serious Play®. It’s a business tool that was first developed by the Lego company itself. It has since expanded to become a valuable method of facilitating any type of meeting. From setting a vision or establishing values, to overcoming problems or setting a strategy. It allows you to develop a common understanding of a challenge. My training was through SERIOUSWORK, a professional facilitation business using and training in the LEGO® Serious Play® method.
Overall, I find this tool much more inclusive than most of the other methods of facilitation that help drive change and innovation in teams. Bringing together creativity and collaboration, its outputs are actionable and foster a shared vision. Not to mention that a LEGO® Serious Play® workshop is lads or fun! Here are 3 ways that LEGO® Serious Play® can help your company performance.
One of the best things about LEGO® Serious Play® is its ability to include everyone. No matter where they are in the organisation and their learning styles. You start by setting a ‘build question’ that’s linked to your goal. Then ask everyone to create a model that represents their answer. You’re not looking for master builders! It’s all about the metaphors you create and how you describe them to the rest of the team.
Whether you have visual, auditory, or tactile learners in your group, LEGO® Serious Play® works for them all.
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) used this tool to help to create a shared culture when merging two teams. IHG believes that the element of play made the workshop incredibly effective, noting,
“If we had just gone to a traditional classroom training session… I’m not sure that those lessons would still be resonating with the team, 18 months later.”
Unlike other methods of brainstorming, where you generally end up with the extroverts contributing the most, LEGO® Serious Play® gives everyone an equal way of giving their input. This is one of the reasons why I started offering it to my clients.
Using Emergenetics, teams often discover their individual preferences, how they like to engage. The natural next step is to look for ways to include those who might not naturally put themselves forward.
Using LEGO® Serious Play® allows everyone to take a step back from the situation. No one is talking about a person or situation per se, so you get a chance to speak openly about the challenges you’re facing. Or the fears you haven without it being too personal.
A red brick could mean different things to different builders – whether that’s love or anger, or even the red desk in the corner of the office!
Large Telco Service Provider, Telia, used LEGO® Serious Play® to come up with new product and service ideas for Telia TV. The company felt that the workshop “created an environment that opened everybody up in such an effective way” and showed a creative side from all stakeholders that they wouldn’t have imagined beforehand.
Using this tool to bring people together leaves your company with a shared understanding of what’s expected of them, and a shared vision of what the next steps are, too.
Think outside the box when it comes to LEGO® Serious Play®. I’ve seen it be effective for creating shared culture or vision, brainstorming new product ideas, optimising processes, creating objectives, problem-solving or change management.
Top Tips for Lego® Serious Play®
Like most things, you need to have the right attitude and approach to get the best out of LEGO® Serious Play®. I’ve outlined a few tips for doing just that.
- Make sure you have clarity on your objective – your facilitator can help you with this and then create a build question that allows you to focus the workshop on key outcomes.
- Be open to new approaches and ways of arriving at the outcome. But don’t lose sight of your overarching objective.
- Involve a mix of people from different backgrounds, disciplines, levels of experience and with various skillsets. Diversity will give you rich insights and ideas.
- LEGO® Serious Play® will give you a shared understanding. It’s up to you to make this into an actionable project plan.
- Have fun! It’s all about everyone getting involved and engaged.
The examples in this blog are from the book by SERIOUSWORK called How to Facilitate Meetings & Workshops Using the LEGO Serious Play Method.
If you’d like to find out more about LEGO® Serious Play® and how it can help you drive your company’s goals, get in touch on 07980 838945, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved.
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