Michael Fearne is a LEGO serious play expert. Yes, you read that correctly. Fearne has spent 10 years running and facilitating workshops where people use LEGO to open conversations, work through problems and come up with new ideas.
He says that in a workplace with a mix of introverts, extroverts, visual and kinaesthetic people, listeners, talkers and more, traditional meetings don’t always enable everyone to be heard. By changing the format to “serious play” organisations can engage everyone in a new, fun way. Essentially, people are first asked an open-ended “question” to stir up ideas about a certain topic.
They then “build” LEGO models that represent ideas, concepts and experiences, and “share” what it is and why with the group, who in turn share their thoughts and ideas.
“It breaks down the business facade,” says Fearne.
“Everyone says, ‘I didn’t know I was going to say that’ or ‘I can’t believe I revealed that’.
“People can’t help themselves when they are playing, and have LEGO in front of them.
“LEGO is a tool that… gives access to the creative side of people.”
The strategy is now used across many sectors of business from management to HR, educators and startups.
And while it may seem like something that not everyone would engage with, Fearne says in all the time he has been doing it, he has only had one person that “wasn’t quite into it.”