SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

December 12, 2012

Building ideas, breaking down barriers

Lego workshop inspires creativity

SALEM — Last week, 37 people gathered in groups around tables in a conference room in the Enterprise Center on Salem State University’s campus to play with Lego building blocks.

The two-hour workshop wasn’t child’s play, however, as two consultants introduced the grown-ups to “Lego Serious Play,” which has a deeper meaning than just the construction of towers and bridges.

Playing with colorful plastic building blocks can help organizations solve complex problems by breaking down the rigid social conventions of the typical business meeting, said workshop facilitators Donna Denio, the principal of S&D Global Partners of Winchester, and Dieter Reuther, an operations consultant with Cast Collective of Boston.

Those in the Lego Serious Play workshop on Dec. 4 were North Shore businesspeople, organization and education leaders, Gordon College students, and even some who are between jobs. As they played with the Lego blocks and spoke about their ideas, they tackled what it means to be an effective leader, to work together on a project, to share ideas and to be creative, almost from the first tower they built.

At its base, Lego Serious Play is a tool to help people communicate better and solve problems by simply having people play with the building blocks and little people, then describe what they have built.

The act of putting together Lego pieces and thinking about the ways they go together, then relating that to a business or technical problem, can draw people out. According to Lego Serious Play etiquette, participants can only refer to flaws with their models rather than to a person’s idea, which acts to defuse egos and make talking about problems far less personal.

For more than 10 years, companies and workshops in Europe have used Lego Serious Play to break through challenges such as finding ways to get more clients; helping with a change in leadership or direction in the company; getting employees to collaborate on a large, complex project; or encouraging individuals to contribute equally in important meetings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000 GM Crash Compensation Could Top $1 Billion GM Won't Limit Crash Compensation Funds Justices Rule for Broadcasters in Aereo Fight
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Comments Trcker