Some people might raise their eyebrows when we talk about using LEGO® as a valuable learning tool for adults. However, LEGO® Serious Play® has become an important tool for many businesses across the country. Rather than just being a game used as an ice-breaker in training sessions, LEGO® Serious Play® in Australia has plenty of benefits from an educational and strategic point of view.
LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator training in Australia is also becoming popular, as even experienced trainers want to learn more about this method of teaching. So, what’s it all about, and why are corporations around the world turning to LEGO® as a training tool?
What is LEGO® Serious Play®?
In recent years we’ve seen a marked increase in businesses trying to gamify their learning opportunities. There’s a theory that people learn more while they’re having fun, so it helps to make training courses a bit more interactive and enjoyable. LEGO® Serious Play® is certainly a way to make that happen.
However, it’s a lot more than just a game. LEGO® Serious Play® is actually all about communication and problem solving. In short, the bricks are used to create metaphors for real business issues. The process is like a hands-on language for business, allowing you to communicate problems in an easy-to-understand way, without simplifying too much or losing important details.
Sessions like LEGO® Serious Play® are also extremely inclusive. Everybody is encouraged to participate, and everybody’s voices are heard equally. No matter your role within the business, you’re encouraged to contribute ideas, which often isn’t the case in your everyday work. The benefits of this flow through the whole business, because staff members realise that everyone has valued ideas and contributions.
Who can benefit from LEGO® Serious Play®?
Basically, there’s no limit to who can benefit from LEGO® Serious Play® in Australia. All types of businesses use gamified learning techniques, and LEGO® Serious Play® is no exception. All businesses face issues and problems, and communication of these problems is frequently an issue. We often leave out certain details in an effort to simplify the overall problem. But unfortunately, that often means the problem can’t be addressed properly because people don’t have all the details.
So, any business large or small can benefit from a LEGO® Serious Play® workshop. It gets people thinking creatively, communicating differently, and solving problems in an informed, strategic way.
Improve decision making
One of the main benefits of LEGO® Serious Play® is improving the way decisions are made. The best decisions are made when a team works cohesively and has all of the necessary information. LEGO® Serious Play® aims to create that cohesive environment where all team members use the same language and communicate more clearly.
The result is a team that knows exactly where they are, and where they’re going. As such, decisions are made in line with a common understanding and everybody knows their role. When decisions are made cohesively, there’s more trust to enable action to be taken effectively.
Using a common business language
LEGO® Serious Play® works on the basis that everybody has the same language tools – the bricks. The idea behind this is to simplify the way people communicate without leaving important details out of the conversation. It also makes communication more visual, so everybody in the team can see exactly what’s being discussed.
Often, communication breaks down in businesses because people use different terminology or varied ways of sharing information. Using bricks as a communication tool puts everybody on the same page, and problems are clearly identified.
Like a lot of training courses, there’s a strong focus on problem solving in LEGO® Serious Play®. However, before you move on to solving problems, you need to understand clearly what the problems are. The shared business language used during a workshop makes it easier for people to identify problems. Making it visual also helps people to pinpoint potential issues during the problem-solving process.
Much of the course is designed to help people identify and communicate problems, and it’s important to focus on the real issues, not just the symptoms. For example, if your business is losing customers, that’s actually a symptom of a deeper problem. To address the fact that you’re losing customers, you need to find out why in order to fix the problem.
Implement action plans more easily
Action plans are great, but they’re only as successful as the people carrying out those actions. So many action plans fail because the purpose or end goal hasn’t been communicated properly. People also may not even understand the issue to begin with. Without all the information being available to every stake-holder, action plans are doomed to fail.
There’s also a trust aspect to carrying out action plans. Cohesive teams who trust each other are more likely to fully commit to an action plan, because everybody understands the goal. LEGO® Serious Play® helps teams to communicate, share information, identify problems and formulate clear action plans to follow through with.
Creating cohesive teams
LEGO® Serious Play® obviously has a serious side, but there’s also a team-building aspect to it. Part of this is due to the common business language being used. Everybody is on the same starting point, everybody has a voice, and everybody is required to contribute. These workshops help to build strong teams that recognise individual roles and contributions, while maintaining a strong core focus that they are in fact a team.
Exercises like LEGO® Serious Play® help to promote an environment where people are valued for what they bring to the table. This level of cohesion creates a dynamic team environment who can easily identify problems, gain insights, and put action plans into play quickly. No longer is the team just a collection of different jobs, but individual contributors who are valued for their input.
Improve creative thinking
There’s no doubt that people’s creativity shines more in a fun environment. Have you ever sat in a really dry training course, and when you’re asked to contribute, you just go blank? It’s like the nature of the course has sapped all your energy and creative thinking. LEGO® Serious Play®, on the other hand, is very interactive, and extremely engaging. This is the type of learning environment where contribution is ongoing, and you’re actively involved in the problem-solving process.
This sort of inspiring environment gets people’s creativity cranking, and it’s a state of mind that can be carried over into their everyday work. After a LEGO® Serious Play® session, people can clearly see how thinking outside the box and sharing left-field ideas can actually help a team’s goal rather than hinder it. Sometimes, complex problems demand creative solutions, and this can’t be achieved if everybody plays it safe. So, the dynamic thinking that’s encouraged by LEGO® Serious Play® has ongoing benefits to businesses in their everyday dealings.
Engage people with a fun approach to learning
Finally, the engagement factor can’t be understated when it comes to training. In fact, one of the biggest complaints about training is that it’s just not engaging. People generally switch of pretty quickly if they’re just being read to. Discussion helps, but even then, some training environments foster a situation where only the loudest voices are heard. LEGO® Serious Play® aims to engage each and every participant. From your receptionist to your CEO, everybody is on the same team, working towards a solution.
By creating a fun and engaging learning environment, people pay more attention, get more involved, and ultimately take more from the experience. This is one of the many reasons why gamifying your training has an instant impact. Even staff who are perpetually resistant to training courses find they can learn something from a LEGO® Serious Play® workshop. When people are engaged and interested in the process, it helps to grow and develop the culture of the whole business moving forward.