Seriously Useful LEGO®

The team had been dancing around the issue for ages.

They’d sorted the basics like their purpose statement, key priorities and ways of working.

But they weren’t sure that they were pulling in the same direction, nor were they confident that their forward-view was robust enough yet to take whatever was thrown at it.

And amongst all of this, they wanted to have a shared conversation without it being dominated by the usual suspects.

They’d tried – and liked – facilitation techniques such as the 3-chair challenge, but wondered if there was something available that was deeper and more creative.

They were sceptical at first, as you would expect, but the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology quickly won them over.

Sharing Solid 3D Prints of Ideas

When discussing complex situations in small groups, we’ve all used objects on the table – normally coffee cups, pens and notepads – to represent strategic themes like ‘project X’, ‘project Y’ or ‘sourcing’ to make it easier to discuss the overall strategy.

As Bob Horn explains, visual language like this “is born of people’s need, worldwide, to deal with complex ideas that are difficult to express in text alone”.

This is where the bricks come into their own. By using the wide variety of descriptive bricks available in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® packs you can represent strategic themes in a much more memorable way. Sean Blair and Marko Rillo put it this way: “LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® can be used to create models of your thoughts. Therefore, it helps us to create solid 3D prints of your ideas using metaphors.”

Being able to remember what each element of the shared model still means hours or even weeks later allows groups to take this even further, e.g. you can then test and fine-tuning the shared model against the ‘What Ifs’.

Creating Engagement

The use of models allows you to facilitate a process whereby every individual gets the chance to share their thinking and be part of building a shared vision or strategy. “People support what they help to create” is how Marvin Weisbord put it.

It’s especially good at allowing a better balance between extroverts and introverts – there’s something about everyone having an object to describe that makes life easier for everyone.

Solid Output

By taking pictures of the models, and videos of the story behind them, teams and even departments can keep reminding themselves of the decisions that they’d made together.

Taking this further

Please contact Will Sudworth if you’re interested in using this methodology with your team.

If you’d like to learn the facilitation skills yourself, we are pleased to recommend ProMeet’s SERIOUS WORK masterclass.

 

The registered trademarks in this article are © 2017 The LEGO Group

2 Responses to Seriously Useful LEGO®

  1. tam watchorn September 11, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    Would love to chat more about this Will – really interested in the approach and your experiences

    • Will Sudworth December 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Tam
      Great to hear from you. Sorry – only just found out about this comment – for some reason the system didn’t inform me.
      It would be great to catch up with you again and talk this through.
      Will

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