December 1, 2015 in Serious Play Discussion
If you want to discuss this case then please refer to the Considiom blog where this was originally posted.
So here’s the question. Can you gamify Lego Serious Play? Would you want? How might it impact the flow and the participation?
Well we did just that at the Gamification World Congress 2015 in Barcelona in November.
- Firstly because the workshop’s focus was to share knowledge about the basic s of Gamification and gamifying participation to later talk about intrinsic and extrinsic rewards was the perfect way to indirectly deal with something fundamental in gamification.
- Secondly we knew the participants in this workshop we’re going to be receptive to something different and something new so this was the perfect opportunity to try something I’ve been thinking about for some time.
So how did we do it?
We got participants into flow using basic Lego Serious Play techniques but between building challenges we introduced a reward system using the Lego bricks themselves. On sitting down, apart from the Lego on the table, each participant was given a small four-brick structure made up of four classic 2×4 bricks. It was made clear that these 4 bricks are not to be used in any of building or construction challenges and that they were their personal bricks.
We then launched into the workshop using basic skills building exercises and then moved through the script to share knowledge on areas related to Gamification. However after each building challenge and the subsequent sharing and debate, we asked participants to quickly stop, think and reward. We specifically asked them to think of the most insightful contribution from the round they had just completed and once they had it clear in their minds, we got them to reward by simultaneously giving one of their 4 bricks to the person who had shared that insight.
We did this 4 times throughout the session and at the end of the workshop we asked each table to identify the winner. The prize was only made known at the end but it had two elements: on the one hand the winner got to give a present to the all other participants at the table (a small bag of Lego bricks) and at the same time the other members had to personally thank the winner for their contribution.
Although obviously difficult to measure with data, the process worked well and seemed to encourage participation. The level of engagement and participation was as I have seen in similar sessions but the brief prize-giving moment at the end was very much a positive climax to the session as a whole.
After the session I spoke to several participants individually to see how they perceived the process as participants and all the feedback was positive. Some of the points they mentioned were:
- Part of the success was in not knowing what the prize was going to be. This combined with the fact that the prize was very much an “everyone-is-a- winner “ scenario where constructive positive feedback was central created a very positive finish to the session
- Having to reward others in this way made them focus even more on listening to the stories, the models and the reflections at the table
Rewarding others by sacrificing your own bricks heightened the sense of responsibility and being fair
- One person at a table perceived a type of “levelling” whereby participants helped each other to not end up without bricks by actively clarifying, asking and any helping some participants to develop their stories
- One participant commented on the fact getting a brick as recognition from the person beside him felt a bit like being back in school secondary school and getting a smile from the person he always fancied. He knew he was doing something right and it encouraged him to do it again and better.
Any comments from other participants at the session? Feel free to comment here.
All in all it was a great exercise to indirectly get participants to think about intrinsic and extrinsic reward (a key discussion in gamification).
Lastly, from a Lego Serious Play method standpoint, I will take the process and the findings and refine it more. Depending on the group and the objective of the session, it is definitely something I will consider as an option in the future.
May 6, 2015 in Serious Play Case Studies
“I appreciate all the work and effort you put into today’s session with my team. It was without doubt original and innovative and above all, it fulfilled my objectives. You can consider me to be a Lego Serious Play apostle and I will do all I can to recommend your methodology to both teams in my company and indeed to other companies, should the opportunity arise.”
This is feedback from the manager of a team of 15 people following an 8 hour Lego Serious Play workshop we did recently.
Sector: Financial / Banking
- Based on the overall company objectives, identify personal objectives for each team member
- Align the individual objectives so that they become common team objectives for the next year
- Identify all the obstacles to reaching the annual objectives
- Find solutions to the main obstacles
- Brainstorm how the team can improve its overall performance
- Unite and strengthen the team and develop closer relationships and ties between its members
- We built a workshop exclusively around Lego Serious Play – working with both individual and group models
- We also combined the model building with some more well known training concepts (SWOT analysis and Circles of Control and Influence) to map what they built
- We met all the objectives set out by the client
- We had full involvement from all participants throughout the whole day
- Although there were some difficult “crucial conversations”, participants enjoyed the experience
- By the end of the day, the team had a full understanding of how they performed and how they could improve
- An improvement in the sense of “team spirit” was noticeable by the end of the workshop, and even more so two weeks later at a follow up meeting.
The following phrase came up during the workshop and captures very well the overall result: “we are much more a team than I thought we were”
Lego Serious Play works!
April 7, 2015 in About Lego Serious Play
Some time ago Carlos Hernandez of Dos Abrazos – dosabrazos.com and I did a Demo with a client here in Madrid, Spain and the flow of the whole meeting illustrates perfectly the power of the Lego Serious Play Methodology.
- We met the HR contact and he brought us straight to a small meeting room
- While we were still doing the niceties and the small talk, I took out the small exploration bags of Lego, opened them and put them on the table
- Without having previously talked about the the methodology and while still doing the small talk, our contact started playing with the bricks and launched straight into the building of a model so we stopped talking and watched
- When finished building he intuitively started to explain what he had built. It was a specific metaphor for a work situation
- We instinctively asked questions about the model, he provided feedback and along the way he made some changes to the model.
March 19, 2015 in Serious Play Case Studies
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.
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:
- 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
- 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”
- Tangible and specific ideas that will help them to build perfect teams across the production plant at all levels.
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.