Category Archives: Serious Play Case Studies

Case studies of successful Lego Serious Play facilitation events

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Building Collection

LEGO® Serious Play® – a Magical Approach to Large Group

How to allow nearly 600 people to stay focused for 3 hours, with real moments of silence, and walk away with 70 chosen ideas (of 280) to energize their association meetings?

Context

The APM (Management Improvement Association) brings together Francophone leaders of companies employing more than 10 employees to sustainably grow their business: 6,700 members in a network of 340 clubs in 22 countries. This network is independent, non-political and not-for-business network.

The objective of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop

The LEGO® Serious Play® workshop we organized was a synthesis of a 3-day seminar which allowed for the first time all club chairmen, leaders and experts to meet and share their practices. Our goal was to bring out the best ideas to innovate and boost club meetings.

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Lego Serious Play Experience at Airbus

Airbus_logo_3D_BlueI have had a number of people ask me how I deployed LSP at Airbus so I thought I would share how I came to LSP, what I have done and what worked and what didn’t work so well. Please just take this as a humble sharing of experience, nothing more.

Background

I would first like to put things into perspective. Airbus group is a big entity of many nationalities, many different entities ranging from offices to production sites and products (airplanes, space and defense, etc.). I only have experience of introducing the method at an Airbus aircraft production facility in France, in St Nazaire. I am aware of two other one-time initiatives at Airbus using Lego Serious Play but haven’t managed to create any internal exchange of information around the methodology.

At St Nazaire, we structurally assemble the front and middle section of aircraft (meaning that we connect together sections of the fuselage to make either the front end with the cockpit or the middle section of the fuselage onto which are bolted the wings) and then equip them with insulation, hydraulics, electrics, air, and everything a plane needs and that you can’t see when sitting in it.

How it all started

I was introduced to the method by Per Kristiansen who came to the Global Innovation Forum in London in 2013 for a teaser workshop. I really liked the jacket he wore with the zip in the back so thought I would give the methodology a try. :-)

Returning to the office full of enthusiasm, I started talking about it with great energy. I showed a picture I had taken in London, however, LSP being something one needs to experience; I found it difficult to convey the potential of the method.

Héloïse Lauret from BNP Cardif that I had also met in London proposed to organise a session with other companies. Instead of the full 4 day training, we would do half at first. I managed to convince my management to attend this first half of facilitator training and would then test it before taking the second half. We finally all met at the Orange Campus in Paris for an initial 2 days training.

Lego Serious Play at Airbus - by Mark Harling
Lego Serious Play at Airbus – by Mark Harling

Back at the office, I assembled 4 pages showing photographs of what I had built during the training and illustrating aspects of what one can achieve using the LSP methodology. I started going from manager to manager telling a story using the pictures as a teaser. I generated much interest in that way, however, few managers were willing to try. Many were reluctant to abandon traditional brainstorming activities and some admitted that they could not see themselves putting their teams in front of Lego. Before having experienced a workshop, many people think we are playing Lego or using Lego to represent the reality (build the assembly line for example). Once they have participated, they see the true use and power. Continue reading

Case Study of Using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY at Bible Study Groups

LEGO Serious Play® proves to be very helpful in the construction of meaning during Bible study groups. This I found out with the research I did for my Bachelor in Theology-thesis. With this article I’d like to share a case study with you.

One evening I got together with a Bible study group to discuss the topic of “friendship”. First of all I asked the participants to build a LEGO® model that shows what friendship means to them. They all did and we shared our findings.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY at Bible Study Groups. 1st Model - What is Friendship to You?
LEGO SERIOUS PLAY at Bible Study Groups. 1st Model – What is Friendship to You?

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Weak ties. Strong team – Lego Serious Play Case Study

by Fabrizio Faraco, written with Simona Orlandi and Ercole Renzi

Making an organization successful is extremely difficult. It’s hard to achieve success with a company where people have strong ties (working relationships, careers, etc.). With a volunteer association could be a nightmare, considering that people have very weak ties with it.

Girl Geek Dinner LOGOGD, i.e. Girl Geek Dinners, “is an informal organisation that promotes women in the Information technology industry. Girl Geek Dinners has 64 established chapters in 23 countries. Girl Geek Dinners was founded in London, United Kingdom in August 2005 by Sarah Lamb (nee Blow) who was tired of being the only woman at technical events” as perfectly described by Wikipedia.

The Rome chapter went through a generational change last April. A new breed of young women gathered together in a plan to revamp one of the most successful GGD chapter in Italy. Time passed by from the 2005 where there were few girls populating the technical scene. So just gathering together is not enough to promote the association goals.

That’s why the group of active GGDs of Rome decided that was the time to build a shared identity to the group and for doing properly they choose to undertake a Lego® Serious Play® workshop.

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Michael Fearne LEGO Case Study - Onboarding

LEGO Serious Play Case Study: Onboarding

This is the 2nd post in a series focusing on case studies and companies that have used LEGO Serious Play to help solve real challenges they were facing.

The Brief

Over the last 2 years I’ve incorporated LEGO Serious Play into the development workshops I run with graduates (through my other company Burst Development). Burst specialises in helping companies fast track their graduate’s development, getting them up to speed quicker and laying the foundation for a successful career.

While there was no one brief from a particular company, all my clients are looking for innovative and more effective ways to onboard and develop their graduates. LEGO Serious Play has proven itself an effective additional technique for a particular subset of graduate development needs.

What We Did

That fast tracking of a graduate’s development begins as soon as they start, through their induction and onboarding. These sessions include skills training (e.g. communication basics, time management) but also include sections where graduates need to express themselves individually and as a group (on personal branding, expectations, self-awareness and company awareness). It is these topics where LEGO Serious Play really shines.

Examples of how it’s used in graduate onboarding:

  • Expectations play a huge role in how well a new starter fits into their work environment. Using LEGO Serious Play we get graduates to build their expectations. What will their managers be like, their colleagues, their day to day tasks. This uncovers any potential gaps between expectation and reality, allowing the graduate to manage their expectations instead of getting a rude shock when first joining their team.
  • Personal Branding is an important skill for graduates to understanding as they begin to build their career. We get them to build their personal brand using LEGO. We find the layering of metaphors that LEGO allows fits perfectly with a graduate defining their own personal brand and how to implement it.
  • Understanding the company, it’s past, it’s present and it’s future is vitally important for graduates. We run a group activity where graduates build their understanding of the company with LEGO, assessing their understanding of where it’s been, where it’s at, but also highlighting the future they will be a part of.

The Result

At the first superficial level, graduates of age 21-25 love using LEGO. No surprises there. So they are definitely engaged. But is it effective?

From my experience delivering the same topic before I used LEGO Serious Play and after using it, the clear answer is yes it is more effective. The concepts, ideas, situations and solutions that the graduates are bringing up and discussing are far deeper and more meaningful than when using other techniques.

From the client’s perspective, they are impressed with the discussions that LEGO Serious Play generates. I’ve also had clients say that over 12 months after their induction, graduates are still referring back to the LEGO Serious Play activities. They find that the concepts raised and the skills learnt are much “stickier”, staying with the graduates longer and positively impacting their first year in full time work.

Like with many development activities, it’s difficult to empirically quantify the benefits of applying LEGO Serious Play to onboarding. But this case study shows that the three groups involved (graduates, facilitator & client) all believe it enhances the process and promotes more powerful conversations. This clearly leads to memorable experiences that help a graduate to fell more integrated into the team, help them define their place and help them understand the company they have joined.

About the Author

Michael Fearne is the founder of Pivotal Play. An unconventional consultancy helping companies to solve problems and create more meaningful conversations through the power of LEGO Serious Play. To find out more about Michael and Pivotal Play go to www.pivotalplay.com.au

Using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method to Improve Collaboration

In January of this year we had unique experience of rolling out a series workshops to all 180 staff of one of our client’s production units. The objective was to explore ways in which the plant could perform better as a cohesive collaborative unit and at the same time to provide a platform for healthy constructive dialogue between the different teams.

Alan McShane Considiom Using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY to Improve Collaboration
Alan McShane Considiom – Using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY to Improve Collaboration

Workshop Format

To maximize impact and to minimize production downtime, we decided to run identical workshops in parallel sessions throughout one day, thus bringing everyone through the process in one 12 hour period.

In order to maximize knowledge sharing opportunities across the factory and to create new synergies between teams and individuals, we ensured that each group had staff from the various departments and business units with managers and supervisors spread across all the tables.

We used the first two challenges to get everyone in flow and to create a sense of trust at each table. After that we explored three key areas:

  1. The skills and competencies we expect from the people we work with. This was followed by discussion and reflection at each table and sharing of personal strengths and growth areas
  2. The characteristics of a perfect team, starting from a personal perspective and then converting them into a group vision at each table. This was followed by discussion at each table on how their respective teams, and the plant as a whole, measured up to this “perfect team”
  3. Tangible and specific ideas that will help them to build perfect teams across the production plant at all levels.

Outcome

Despite the varied profiles of the participants there was perfect “flow” and as we have seen in the past with our clients, workshops with a mix of administrative, managerial and production roles always uncover some deeply sincere and valuable insights for all.

Turning Models and Stories into Real Follow-up

Given that each workshop was identical with the same outputs, afterwards we were able to collate all the information we had and harmonize it into one document, categorizing the various concepts dealt with at each table and analyzing the groupings and classifications in pivot tables. This provided very useful insights into common threads running through all the workshops and also highlighted key training and growth areas for individuals and teams and in our report we presented these opportunities and issues back the client with recommendations on how to build on the positives and improve on the growth areas. We are all ready looking at how to build on these workshops with more specific proposals.

Lastly,at the end of each session, we finished with a simple round of “what have we done?” and the simple recognition by the people in each session that that they had: talked, listened, been creative, respected each other, collaborated, shared and played made it clear that they had taken a significant step forward.

This case study was first published here: Considiom, Madrid – Using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Method to Improve Collaboration.

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