You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato
There’s little denying the impact the LEGO brand has had on the world. I’m a kid at heart and have been using LEGO for both personal and professional reasons for my entire life. From inspiration, innovation and of course imagination – LEGO has been at the helm (and hearts) of changing the way we see, think and understand connectivity and play.
It’s for this reason I wanted to write about why I use LEGO as often as possible in my meetings and how you can as well to improve your audiences productivity and output especially in meetings.
Now, if you were thinking playing with LEGO is beneath you and only for little kids, you would be wrong. LEGO is serious about adult learning through play, so much so that it uses the term “Serious Play” which embodies the four main areas for adult development and learning:
1) Social bonding
2) Emotional expression
3) Cognitive development
4) Constructive competition
To date, companies like Mercedes, Nokia and Pepsi have successfully employed LSP within their meetings and according to Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation:
- When children reach the age of three, they are already robustly developing areas key to executive functions, the critical cognitive processes that are important predictors of success in school, such as problem-solving, sustaining attention, planning and directing activities, and monitoring performance. Or in other words: skills that equip you for life.
Don’t worry, if you can’t use the LEGO Serious Play Program Experts at your next meeting, you can still spark innovation and unleash your peoples creativity in 3 easy steps…here’s how:
Buy some LEGO – they don’t have to be fancy and in fact come in big tubs with assorted bricks both in size, color and shape. According to LEGO experts, the key is to make them basic as they enable “thinking in metaphors” which will be a catalyst for tapping into the four areas of adult developmental learning.
Devise an activity (or not), this is entirely up to you and the meeting you’re leading. Whether you engage in something specific or simply have some for your audience to play with, the impact and benefits could surprise you. Possible opportunities to include LEGO include but are not limited to: Team Building, Leadership Development, Creating A Shared Vision, Coaching or Unleashing Creative Thinking for Accelerated Innovation
Have fun. No seriously…have fun. That’s a crucial component to a successful use of LEGO in any capacity.
Connecting the blocks:
The research, case studies and history all point to one thing…LEGO is synonymous with creativity, innovation and of course fun. When used either in a constructive manner or free form, the results are plenty and people gravitate to these tiny blocks in a kid-like fashion. The next time you lead a meeting, think about popping on over to the toy store first and grab some LEGO. Who knows, your next meeting may just be “awesome”.
The floor is yours:
How do you create awesome meetings?
Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.
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