Lego® Serious Play® in a Merger Setting

By GPMIP Partner, Christophe Van Gampelaere, Certified Lego® Serious Play Facilitator

Lego® Serious Play®, a service offered by a Lego® Serious Play® Certified Facilitator, promotes team alignment and creative thinking.  In a merger setting, participants work through integration scenarios using visual 3D Lego constructions, hence the name “serious play.” It is based on research that shows that this kind of hands-on, minds-on learning deepens the reflection process and supports an effective dialogue for everyone in the organization. In a Lego® Serious Play workshop, brains, hands and eyes work together to agree on a common approach and a shared philosophy on how to tackle complex issues.

Early on in the integration setting, the integration manager and workstream leaders gather around a table, with a ton of LEGO® bricks scattered around, and come to a common understanding of the challenge ahead.

A workshop can take anywhere between 1 and 3 days. It starts with individual constructions, where each person builds something very personal. Each person tells a story, explaining what he built. That creates unexpected insights and understanding. Inevitably, issues surface that are difficult to discuss.  The methodology levels the playing field, with introvert managers having the same speaking time as extroverts, engaging 100% attention and participation. Gradually, common constructions start to surface. All the elements on the table gain meaning, and symbolize the integration effort. As the team gains understanding, adjustments are made, elements taken out, new ones brought in.

The team thus saves time through deep dialogue allowing more, better, and faster decisions. The whole process helps to bridge cultural gaps, specifically when the Facilitator is experienced in multicultural teams.  Eventually, a shared essence emerges, and participants are energized with a feeling of achievement, understanding and a shared project.

“I’m convinced we covered more in that day than would have been possible in a week of workshops facilitated by more traditional means, and by less able facilitators.”

– J. Johns, Government Industry Group.

“We used Lego® Serious Play® in a complex merger between several units. The process and the 3D models helped us to develop a shared understanding of our future business reducing uncertainty and making it possible to accelerate the merger process”

– Laust Joen Jakobsen, Director, CVU Greater Copenhagen

Benefits of Lego® Serious Play®:

  • Everyone’s insight, knowledge and ideas are brought fully to the table
  • Broad-based buy-in and increased team commitment
  • Clearer understanding of interdependencies between workstreams
  • Avoiding misunderstanding and integration design flaws
  • Personal bonding
  • Cultural gaps are bridged
  • More effective team communication
  • Fast-track to the real issues
  • Clearer perceptions, greater awareness and informed opinions
  • Stronger commitment and more confidence.

Interested in scheduling a Lego® Serious Play® session for your company?  Contact Christophe Van Gampelaere, GPMIP Partner and Certified Lego® Serious Play Facilitator.  Interested in learning more about Global PMI Partners?  Join us, join our network, or join our mailing list.

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