Spark the Change Part 3 — Let’s Play. Seriously.

(Pst, have you read part 1 and part 2 yet?)

Learning with Lego®. It’s a thing. I did it. Read on to find out more!

This was easily my favourite workshop. Playing with Lego® for nearly an hour? WHAT!? And there’s science behind it? Am I dreaming? Nope.

SeriousPlay® is a method used by many companies during brainstorms, meetings, and even for hiring. I was really curious to see how this would come to life. Do you just start slapping Lego® together and boom, someone’s invented the next Tesla?

Gif Credit by Giphy

As it turns out, it’s a little more involved, but not complicated either (as long as you have a facilitator to keep you from just chilling with Lego® for hours). Here’s how it worked:

Imagine a room full of strangers, looking at a pile of Lego®, half-afraid, half-excited. Our facilitators divided us by team and told us to solve a super easy problem: How to bring Agile into our fake organization to help our fake client succeed. Easy, right? Oh, but you can’t use pens, paper or whiteboard…just Lego®.

When we started building, our team was definitely not Agile out of the gate. But once we got in a groove, things started to click. Then: chaos. One of our team members was kidnapped and by another team. We also struggled to find ways to represent an abstract theory with…toys.

Photo Credit by Bell Jobs (Twitter)

Finally, the Agile process began to take shape. We crafted a spaceship to represent the client, and multiple teams involved in each project were represented by different colour bricks. Our scrum master was represented as a lighthouse. Of course, we made sure to implement team wellness, with a pool and foosball table. How did we build a foosball table out of Lego®? Let’s just say that at this stage our imagination was on fire.

Once we started to get confident with our creations, the teams were all split up. Now, faced with other teams’ creations, we were asked to describe them. Actually, it wasn’t as tough as it seemed. The Agile vocab started flowing: mobility, collaboration, flexible, multi-disciplinary. But then, another wildcard. Two separate designs were placed in front of us and we had to link them together with Agile. Here’s a picture of our lovely creation:

What began as a room full of strangers evolved into a collective of teammates, joking and teasing each other. If a group of strangers could come together so quickly, imagine a team that already knows each other.

If you want to give the Lego® approach a try, check out this free open-source guide. Read it, adapt it, share it! You can start with sessions as short as 20 minutes, and just a few people. I guarantee you’ll have fun.

We’ll be trying it soon at PeopleLikeUs, so keep an eye on this blog for a future post. Also, stay tuned. Tomorrow we bring you the unpredictable.

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