Need to create more engaging, lean-in meetings?


During January, I became an accredited facilitator of the Lego® Serious Play® methodology. Why did I travel all the way to Singapore to do this? Because I wanted to learn from the guy who originally developed the methodology for Lego®, in collaboration with organisational theorists Johan Roos and Bart Victor (both proponents of complexity theory). The extra effort was well worth it.

What does playing with bricks add to a meeting?

I committed to becoming accredited because I was intrigued to learn more about assisting groups and teams to:

  • more quickly take their conversations deeper, right down to the unconscious assumptions, and add a systems perspective at the same time.
  • help them make better decisions in complex circumstances.
  • engage everyone in the process so that they are all committed to implementing the currrent best ‘solution’ or experiment to learn more.

I wasn’t disappointed! The methodology is not dissimilar to our own independently developed envisioning process that uses images, but the bricks add another dimension because you are making your own model, not just responding to an image.

Thinking through your hands

One of the fascinating concepts I learnt about at this training, was the idea that because there are so many nerve connections between the hands and brain, building models with your hands can be a pathway to releasing previously unconscious thinking into consciousness through the model.

I watched and personally experienced it happen time and again! The combination of using the hands to develop a model (even if I didn’t know what I was building when I started) and the use of story-telling, generated insights about ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’ – ideas that were previously unavailable to individuals and the group.

Lean-in meetings

The process always commences with individuals creating their model and sharing their story about their model. In doing so, everyone participates. It’s not an option – it’s an expectation – and an expectation that people gleefully accept. It’s such fun!

You may be thinMy first model: a tower king “well it might be fun if you like Lego, but I am not an expert in putting bricks together”. It does not matter! I am absolutely not an expert (but I am a lot better than I used to be!). Everyone can build models and tell stories. Trust me 🙂 The picture to the right is was my first model – a tower!

If I can do it, anyone can!

So it’s the participation and engagement that creates the lean-in meeting. And you literally see people move from standing back, waiting for an opportunity to contribute, to leaning in and getting right into it.

Coming soon – “Latte and Lego”

Look out for an invitation to a “Latte and Lego” morning soon where I’ll invite you to experience the virtues of making models and telling stories to develop shared views of reality and of what could be! Change is at the heart of this – like all our work.

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