LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
Is an incredibly powerful process for enabling teams to fast-track to the real issues through the power of building 3D models and the benefit of story-telling. Since the methodology was developed by the LEGO® Group as part of their business transformation process, it has been used both globally and in Australia by world-renowned organisations.
One of the key strengths of the process is that it has numerous applications and is flexible in terms of how teams and organisations adapt and use the methodology based on their specific business drivers. Session road maps are designed to ensure that outcomes are achieved and that the groups are fully engaged.
These are three memorable case studies of bold organisations who chose to use the methodology to meet their organisational objectives.
Case Study #1 – The Microsoft WomenBuild Program
Microsoft supports an inclusive environment and was determined to create more pathways in to technology for women. As part of this global initiative, the WomenBuild program in Australia used LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® as the basis for a series of 2 hour sessions as the starting point for this incredibly important project.
The sessions were specifically designed to enable women to tell stories relating to the barriers they face and invite them to solutionise. The purpose was to address how to attract and grow Women in Technology through creative, out-of-the- box thinking. The sessions provided a place to brainstorm solutions on how to make technology and a career in technology more accessible to women. The challenges posed to the participants as part of the road map included:
- Build a model so you can tell a story about one of the specific challenges or problems you have identified as a barrier to improving diversity and empowering women in technology.
- Build a model and story that is at least one possible solution to the challenge, problem barrier you identified.
The feedback from the sessions was incredibly positive with over 82% of participants providing positive feedback. In addition, the following rich stories emerged from the building of 3D LEGO models and the associated stories and table conversations:
- A bridge needs to be built so that clients and female engineers can prove that they do indeed have the required skills to get the job done.
- Women in IT are often allocated the ‘soft’ roles and not seen as part of the senior management team.
- Women often don’t enter the field because there is a misconception about what an IT ‘geek’ looks like.
- A great solution would be to introduce more flexible hours and redefine what success is in the IT field.
A surprising by-product was the number of men who attended the sessions as they were attracted by the methodology revolving around LEGO® – and also wanted to help build a world where their partners and daughters could participate fully.
The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® process provided the ideal platform to launch this amazing initiative and set the program off to a memorable start.
Case Study #2 – Change Management at Coca Cola
The logistics division of the organisation was undergoing a substantial amount of re-structuring and the flow-on impact that this would have on the team was part of the reason for creating workshops that would raise awareness and provide insights in to the change process.
The management team were the first participants as part of a pilot program and their feedback informed the design of further sessions. The sessions were created as a hybrid between information sharing and using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology as the fire-starter for further conversations on a deeper level.
Some of the further challenge questions posed during the session included:
- Build a model that reflects the messages around change that you will communicate to your team.
- Having watched an extract from the movie about Nelson Mandela, build a model that reflects your role as a change leader.
- Build a model that reflects your personal commitment to leading your team through the change process.
Feedback included the following comments from participants:
- “LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® allowed us to think outside the square.”
- “Using the bricks helped me to understand that emotions are important in dealing with change.”
- “LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® reinforced the change model in a light, fun way.”
- “Everyone was engaged in the session.”
- “I now understand why others may not be as excited about a change as you are”
The sessions became a talking point within the organisation and participants were able to explain readily to others what happened in the session. This in turn ensured that there was open conversation about the changes to lessen the fear factor around what was occurring in the organisation.
MCI re-designed the induction program and renamed it ‘Connecting People’. The program included knowledge about the history of the organisation and the context of the power industry. It also provided further understanding of the mission and strategy of the organisation.
Case Study #3 – Cultural Transformation at Qantas
Qantas is a customer centric organisation and there was an urgent need to refresh the organisation’s values and associated behaviours. The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® segment was part of the ‘Be Exceptional’ full day program and was part of Qantas’s drive to move to being the number 1 airline in the world through the delivery of exceptional customer service.
The program was targeted at all levels of the organisation to create buy-in to the concepts of what exceptional service entails. From the baggage handlers to the front staff, everyone needed to be across this vision. Being exceptional was seen as applying the Qantas values and behaviours and understanding how these behaviours relate to the bigger system and experience. The day was intended as an ‘experience’ and not a course. Qantas wanted to create some buzz internally as well and get people conversing after the sessions.
The day started with the groups of about 100 being split up and attending sessions where different parts of the business explained what they do so that for example, baggage handlers get to hear how the first-class lounge works and so on. Then LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was one of 6 sessions that the group could choose to attend. Other sessions included developing a customer service game, doing some reading together, and other interactive ideas.
Qantas wanted the session to have the following outcomes:
- How do people see their identity in the customer experience?
- How do they connect to the bigger picture of customer experience?
The groups, at tables of about 12 per table, built individual models in response to questions such as:
- Build the best or worst customer service experience you have had.
- Build a model that tells how you contribute to customer service in Qantas.
The group also formed a combined landscape to reflect what customer service excellence at Qantas means to them. The session wrapped up with questions such as:
- How does this super-story relate to the customer experience?
- How does this giant interconnected model affect the customer?