Our furlough team took part in this innovative training initiative in May, with no context or experience in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (for most of us). This training was approached with some expectations yet no expectations at the same time; after all, it’s work, but it’s Lego. Your mind automatically says ‘okay, interesting’. When the bag of random Lego pieces arrived at my door, I had no idea what to expect, other than I would be expected to build something. And if you’re like me, you start to wish you had some of the skills our lovely design team possesses.
When the call started our LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® trainer, Sara Traynor, began introducing us to the thought process behind Lego Serious Play. The prevailing point that stuck with me, was that this was all based on impulse reaction, aiming to show people’s true persona and opinions.
We started our four-part training with a general exercise, one which would only solidify my previous point.
Sara: “Okay, are you ready? You will have one minute.”
Our Group: “Yes.”
Sara: “Build a tower.”
Build. A. Tower. No context, guidance or hints. Almost everyone in the group stared at the camera for around five seconds, then realised, of course, that precious time was counting down and we needed to get building. As you could probably guess, no one’s towers were the same — some followed traditional dimensions, some completely broke the boundaries of structural normality. The overall lesson from this was that having group discussions and sharing enhances the value of different perspectives. It also exposes the idea that without clarity, things can get lost in translation.
The other three questions addressed everyone’s personal lockdown experiences; ‘the good, the bad and the beautiful’, if you will. The best of the lockdown, the worst, and the one thing you want to keep in your life moving forward from the lockdown. Although this part is different to the usual training, it carried great weight in terms of our new professional climate. These questions allowed us to relate to each other, the struggles we are experiencing and how we can all give each other the space to process our emotions.
This training not only allowed us all to connect, it also allowed us to be innovative in our thinking. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to shake their team up — whether it’s virtual or as a regular office activity.