Would you like to build things from Lego for a whole day and be paid for it?… Me too! So I was very excited to be spending a working day attending a Lego workshop. I knew it would be a fun day but wasn’t 100% sure whether it would add much to my facilitator’s tool kit.
Andrew Walsh led the workshop starting the day by asking us all to build… a duck! We all had only 6 pieces of Lego each but all the ducks that we constructed were so original and different. It was a short but powerful activity to show what you can get by giving people the same resources and unleashing their creativity.
The activity also illustrated the various ways in which people think and how important it is to listen to all the participants (and allow them to voice their opinions) if we really want to find some original ideas and inspire each other. Here is a photo of just two of the ducks (mine is the one on the right – as you can see I wanted to represent a raw concept of a duck… The other duck was created by the talented and also a birder Lawrie Phipps).
After the warm up it was time to get serious. We proceeded to build more models reflecting answers to questions that Andrew was asking. The questions started with things that were relatively easy to build from Lego bricks such as a model of our ideal boss and then got more and more metaphorical, such as a model of strategies for overcoming issues to introducing Lego at work.
What really struck me about working through problems using Lego was the ability to start “thinking with your hands”. It was as if the whole body was contributing to finding answers and not only your brain. It seemed to me to be the great way to start discovery of new insights to difficult problems. The use of Lego models made it really easy to explain clearly the complex visions that might have been lost if they were only related aurally.
The great thing about the workshop was that all of the above was taking place in an amazing atmosphere. Attendees (including me) were having lots of fun while doing the activities and all seemed genuinely happy – and it has been proven that happiness increases our productivity.
I came out of the workshop with some clear ideas on how to start introducing Lego into the workplace and hopefully with enough evidence to convince management that it is a good idea. And if nothing comes out of it… well at least I have this amazing set of Lego serious play to show off at work!