At a University of New Brunswick lecture hall in Fredericton, adults had a chance to “seriously play” with Lego to create 3D models and unlock their creativity.

For one exercise they were all given the same six pieces of Lego to create a duck. When all the ducks were in a row, it was clear they’re all different.

“I think that when they first come in, they think this is another silly fad thing,” said facilitator Jacqueline Lloyd Smith.  She also said that evaporates after the first 30 minutes. With a background in art therapy and business, Smith jumped on this method.

Barb Hoyt and Jess Baker learned that having the same tools and the same direction doesn’t mean you’re going to get the same result. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Lloyd Smith became an official LEGO trainer in 2007 and has been flying around the world with the colourful blocks. She admits her company’s LEGO collection is massive.

“We have to rent storage,” said Smith.

Thinking differently

The groups who’ve used this technique with Lloyd Smith vary from a city strategizing about crime fighting, to Procter & Gamble, to the United Nations.

“We were able to make the point, at the United Nations, that we need to hear from everyone and we need everyone thinking differently if we’re going to move forward and solve the problems of the world,” said Smith.

Everyone at the lecture as asked to create a duck out of the same six Lego pieces. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

The next instruction to the group was to build a tower. Like a seemingly straight forward office memo, it sent people in very different directions.

“When we were told to build a tower, I thought of height first,” said participant Seth Giberson.

The majority went for stability.

The University of New Brunswick sponsored the public night, and will be using the method with its own extended learning department to help them assemble a strategic plan.

Smith said it’s the only type of strategic planning session where participants have passed on a coffee break.

A new way to strategize


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