I believe the desired outcome of a full LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ session (individual and shared build) is to reach a committed consensus. The participants share what they individually believe the decision is or the solution to the matter at hand, and then they pool their ideas into one they all agree with and buy into. And importantly, using LEGO®, they each have a sense of commitment to their joint resolution. They now have something tangible, useful and inspiring to take them forward.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ must produce an Action Plan

Well, yes and no. I don’t believe a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ session should end once the participants have identified a few basic principles that guide their future action. That, to me, is a case of collective procrastination waiting to happen. I believe the output of a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ session should be tangible and specific action steps that will be taken fuelled by the enthusiasm instilled by participating in the process. Get going now and in the future!

The Action Plan must be Implemented

Wait a minute, there’s another step. There may well be the passion in the here and now to implement the plan, but what about tomorrow, and the next day, and next week, and so on? Too many conference room exercises fade when the delegates return to the real world of the office. Why don’t we address this matter upfront using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ as well? We need an answer to how to turn action plans into habits and sustained motivation.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ Workshop Agenda

I’ve put together a 2-day agenda to do just this. Have a look at it and please let me know how you would change it. I’m keen to hear your ideas and make improvements to the agenda.

Just a few things about the agenda:

You’ll notice there are 3 individual builds: the action plan; the personal actions to be taken to implement the action plan; a joint plan to coordinate these personal efforts. The principle here is a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ workshop doesn’t have to be structured in a once-only linear fashion from individual build to a shared build. Steps can be reintroduced according to the logic of the issue at hand.

I start the first day with a session designed to heighten flow and create what I call a shared bond. I don’t believe holding a skills exercise is enough to instil flow. Flow is so important to the success of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ that I do more to get to as much flow as possible.

At the beginning of the second day, I have included a presentation and group work to discuss the idea of adding on to a shared action plan the notion that every person much also have their plan as to what they will do to motivate themselves. The context within which the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ session is being held can be embellished to focus the delegates’ attention in that direction.

OK, here goes:

Day 1

LEGO® SERIOUS FUN – creating a Shared Bond. My concoction to heighten flow.

Skills Exercise

Build an individual LEGO® model of what we will do to implement the objective (action plan) . . .

Build a shared model of what we will do to implement the objective (action plan) . . .

Edit the shared model to show everyone’s involvement, responsibility and authority.

Day 2

Presentation and Group Exercise: “Turning Action Plans into Individual Covenants” – Creating Habits and Sustaining Motivation – create the context for the LSP exercises

Skills Exercise

Build a new individual model of what you will do to implement the shared action plan

Edit your model to turn your contribution to the shared action plan into habits with sustained motivation. Refer to the presentation “Turning Action Plans into Individual Covenants”

Build a shared model of how these individual models link to each other. What can be done as a collective effort, and what is left for individuals to tackle on their own?

Build a 3rd individual LEGO® model of an agreement with yourself “what do I promise myself to do to make sure I implement my plan?”

Treat the whole exercise as a habit. Present the total package – what’s done jointly and what’s done individually by each team member.

Treating LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ as a Work-In-Progress

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at pete@teamgel.co.za.
PS: I’m halfway through writing the first of 2 articles about what I believe are the 2 success factors of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™. Send me your email address if you want me to send you a copy as soon as I’ve finished writing. Who knows when that will be.

So what's next?

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