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.

Building a Better Business with Lego Serious Play Book in Italian

Italian publishers at FrancoAngeli are about to release Italian language translation of Robert Rasmussen & Per Kristiansen book “Building a Better Business with Lego Serious Play”. It will be soon available to purchase as “Il metodo Lego® Serious Play® per il business”.Per Kristiansen Robert Rasmussen - Il Metodo Lego Serious Play Per Il Business FrncoAngeli

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Lego Serious Play TTT in Italy / March-April 2015

Hello everybody, for the Italian residents (and speakers…), Trivioquadrivio – LSP certified partner since 2003, winner of 2005 best partner worldwide award, with several facilitators and a significant LSP experience in all business industries – is about to hold a  train the trainer session for aspiring facilitators.

The session – Italian language only! – will take place in Milano and also include training for Trivioquadrivio’s proprietary facilitation methodology MAPPS©. Dates are still to be set.

If you’re interested, please drop me a line and I’ll give you all the information (villa@triq.it).

Lego Serious Play as a Part of Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme

See the video clip of “Heads, Hands and Hearts” – a description of Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme, where Swiss National Science Foundation Professor of Strategy and Organisation Claus D. Jacobs introduces how LEGO SERIOUS PLAY helps the leaders to develop their creative and synthetic skills.

LEGO Case Study: Team Culture

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

The Brief

First up is a case study from 2014 that focuses on improving Team Culture. Pivotal Play (the company I run) were engaged by a large Professional Services firm in Australia to work with one of their high performing teams.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY teamwork
The very successful team was facing a new challenge. They had recently lost some of their middle managers and communication between different levels within the team had suffered. It wasn’t impacting performance yet, but it had the potential to derail the firm’s most profitable group.

What We Did

Working with all levels in the group, Pivotal Play helped define and clarify what the problem was.

We ran a LEGO Serious Play workshop with the whole group. As part of the session we asked individuals to build LEGO models that represented their team environment as they saw it at the present moment. We got them to combine and integrate their individual models to get an overall picture of how the team saw the current state. This allowed everyone to have buy in and come to a common understanding of what the problems were.

We also asked them to build the team environment that would empower them in the future. The future state they would like see. Again combining individual models to build a shared vision.

The final step was filling in the gap, building what they needed to do as individuals and as a group to move from their current team environment to that shared vision of their future team environment.

With LEGO bricks we got all these issues on the table, where everyone felt comfortable discussing them. Leaders got to hear different perspectives and juniors got to understand the challenges faced by leadership. In the end the team co-created their own solution and an action plan to make it happen.

The Result

Group wide, positive feedback on how the underlying issues were brought up and addressed. Everyone was engaged and felt they had input in to the solution, creating powerful buy in.

New initiatives were put in place both officially and from a grass roots level. Stronger mentoring, juniors taking more initiative, greater knowledge sharing and group learning, more agile and nimble work arrangements and open communication between levels.

An issue that had the potential to derail a high performing team was instead turned into an opportunity to engage the team and drive even more success.

Team Culture is just one challenge that can be tackled using the LEGO Serious Play method. In future posts we’ll look at how it can be used in other areas such as strategic planning, a Lean Start Up environment, for on boarding / induction and in education.

Michael – www.pivotalplay.com.au

Lego Serious Play Facilitator Job Offers

Facilitator as Conductor by Simon Kneebone
Facilitator as Conductor by Simon Kneebone – simonkneebone.com

We have set up a simple marketplace for facilitation requests. To preserve the identity of the clients, you need to log in to see their contact details.

To review the job offers enter the facilitation marketplace.

If you are one of the clients wishing to engage a facilitator please search for facilitators or add your post here: looking for LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator

We will leave at your professional discretion the way the community facilitators and clients handle their contacts, contracts and work. There are two ground rules that we would like everybody to adhere to who subscribe to the business opportunities.

  • Facilitation marketplace is only available to trained LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitators of the SeriousPlayPro community.  If you are not yet trained in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology then please attend one of the training events!
  • When you take up a project via SeriousPlayPro.com community you agree to pay us a 10 percent finder’s fee. We operate on an honour system and kindly ask you to get in touch with us within one week of finalisation of your work for invoicing and payment.

Lego Serious Play Facilitator Network