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Using LEGO® for Leadership Workshops

Using LEGO® for Leadership Workshops

This blog post was written by Ben Rouse, Director at Evolving Design. Check them out if you're looking for facilitated workshops (with or without LEGO®)!

What does your leadership look like?

What if I asked you to go and grab some LEGO® and build something that represented your reflections on that question…? Last week that is exactly what I did for a group of leaders.

At a beautiful location in Lincolnshire a group of community leaders were spending 3 days reflecting on their leadership, the communities they support and how to develop. I designed and facilitated a 2 hour session that allowed each of them time to identify what they wanted their leadership to look like going forward. So LEGO® came to mind immediately, of course!

Like many children, I enjoyed playing with LEGO®. I've since passed all of my LEGO® to my children but still take over the builds every Christmas! However, the universal appeal of LEGO® means that it can even be used in meeting rooms, boardrooms and workshops, such as the one I mentioned above.

LEGO creations from the workshop displayed on the floor

LEGO® Serious Play was created by LEGO® to make their own meetings more creative and effective. You can probably all take yourself back to a meeting with a few people talking and very little action because of it. This work evolved into several kits that are used by facilitators to support teams with decision-making, reflection and connections.

Designing and running the workshop

For the workshop I was designing, I went straight to this method; one of many approaches I have in my toolkit to support teams with facilitation, because the brief required:

  • Everyone to have a voice in the session
  • Time to reflect on themselves and their leadership

The principles of LEGO® Serious Play are that everyone in the team is posed a question by the facilitator, before thinking about it and building their own representation using the bricks provided. Everyone takes a turn to share their model and explain what it represents in relation to the question before the facilitator offers time for reflective questions. This activity can be repeated, building individually or collectively.

In this session, I used the Windows Explorer Kit (direct from LEGO®). It pays to have a fairly easy and open question to start so participants get used to building. Some people may have never played with LEGO®… honestly!

One of the most surprising parts of these workshops is how deep the reflection and thinking can go for participants. Much deeper than they expect. Make sure you give people permission to leave if they feel they need to. Tears and emotions are not uncommon when reflecting with LEGO®!

Getting started

If you're looking to take your work team deeper, this is a great way to do it. If you want to try this yourself, a great starting point is 'The LSP Method' by Michael Fearne. Not ready to spend the money for the 'official' sets just yet? Consider getting a Loose LEGO® pack from Brick Bin as a starting point.

Get in touch with Ben at Evolving Design for facilitated sessions for your team.

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