Andy Klaus wrote a post about Team-Building Games Using Legos on eHow.
Few factors in the workplace have more impact on productivity than the ability of co-workers to perform as a team. However, not every business has the resources or time to dedicate to professional grade training programs to enhance those skills. Ideally, a human resources department could find a low cost tool that could encourage team activities and cooperation. Creative games using Lego building blocks are inexpensive and engaging ways to help develop teams.
The Value of Team Building
Team building is an often overlooked aspect of business operation that has many advantages. Firstly, exercises which develop teamwork require members become familiar with each other. This knowledge creates a more relaxed work environment where members can communicate more easily. When each employee realizes how to fit into the workplace as part of a whole, they are more likely to appreciate the efforts of their co-workers. Teamwork also increases the efficiency of group or coordinated efforts. As a whole, when employees act as a team, they are more productive and harmonious in their endeavors.
Plan Execution Games
Games where members of a team follow instructions to execute a plan are ideally suited for team building exercises. The plans can be formal (like the ones found in a specific Lego kit) or informal, showing a sketch of an idea with some step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the goal. Lego ships and themed kits are ideal source material for such games. If a manager is present in the testing group, you can challenge them to coordinate the effort and delegate specific construction tasks. You can add incentive to the game by offering a small reward if the team is capable of beating a goal time for construction.
A team with moderate experience can develop their skills by participating in problem solving games. In these, the team is tasked with a problem, such as creating a bridge across a 2-foot-long span or manufacturing a 3-foot-tall structure. You should assign an additional challenge such as requiring that their structure is able to support 10 lbs. of weight or that their building require less than 100 pieces. In these games, you should offer a widely mixed set of Lego blocks to encourage creative solutions to the problems.
Lego blocks are surprisingly effective for games which test the ability of members to communicate. You can approach the games in many fashions. In one, you offer detailed instructions to managers, but none to the lower level employees, and challenge everyone to create a specific item or device. In another game, you pair up employees, assigning one as the instructor (who is given a picture of what to build) and designating the other employee as the builder. The instructor has to communicate how to build the design to the builder without using pictures or words that describe a specific piece by color or design.