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mike@seriousfunfactory.co.za

Adult Lego Workshop Team Building

Adult Lego Workshop Team Building

Building teams brick by brick.
We facilitate fun-filled teamwork workshops & use LEGO® to build teams. Seriously

"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." Lord Byron

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." Roald Dahl

"A joke is a very serious thing." Sir Winston Churchill

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Plato

The LEGO® is the means to having Fun

Most adults say they don’t still play with LEGO ® so the experience is novel and exciting
LEGO® is easy to build. The skills of experienced LEGO ® builders are quickly equalled by first timers. Success is achieved and feelings of pride arise.
LEGO® is small. You can play anywhere, everywhere, anytime, indoors or outdoors.
LEGO® is simple. Everyone can play. Everyone is equal.
LEGO® doesn’t scare anyone or challenge anyone physically.
LEGO® is quick to build. You don’t have to be away from the beloved workplace for long. If you wish, you can include the fun in the agenda of a longer meeting.
LEGO® encourages you to use your imagination. Adults become childlike and, once again, think out of the box and creatively.
Playing games is fun. Fun is memorable. Memories are shared and relived, reinforcing them.

...

Welcome TO Teamgel  

Welcome to Teamgel, facilitators of LEGO® bricks based workshops designed to help adults work together seriously. Teamgel uses two methodologies, Serious Fun and Serious Play. Both are FUN and have a serious, business side to them.

Serious Fun uses LEGO® bricks as a team building tool to achieve bonding between (new) team members in a fun way. It is also a way of learning about the principles of management and team building through the means of situational learning.

Serious Play uses the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology of group decision making to solve business problems by means of play. Delegates reach committed consensus on business issues through metaphorical thinking and story telling as they enter the mental state of Flow.

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Business issues addressed by LEGO Serious Fun  

Teamgel’s Serious Fun workshops are situational learning events. Team members work together on team activities and then reflect upon their own behaviour and that of their colleagues. E.g., planning undertaken to build a LEGO® model requires the same generic behaviours as planning undertaken to construct a marketing plan.

Thus the LEGO® building related behaviour becomes a learning benchmark for planning behaviour. And so on for the other behaviours undertaken in team activities. In other words, one can choose which team related behaviours one wishes to highlight and concentrate on. Here are a few examples that previous clients have focused on:

¦Team spirit ¦Communication ¦PLOC (planning, leading, organizing, controlling) ¦Leadership ¦Diversity ¦Change ¦Overcome cultural differences ¦Create an atmosphere conducive to constructive and creative thinking

Besides taking a serious approach to team building, it’s important to note all the LEGO® brick based team building exercises are FUN. Adults enjoy playing with LEGO® bricks. It’s the Child in us. And so, many Serious Fun workshops are run purely for that reason, FUN.

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Objectives of LEGO Serious Fun

The objectives of a Teamgel Serious Fun workshop are agreed with the client before the workshop is held. Although not a panacea Teamgel Serious Fun workshops have been held to date with a number of purposes in mind:

¦to relax and have FUN ¦to introduce strangers to each other ¦to create an environment in which delegates interact in a FUN and sharing manner ¦to create a friendly, FUN and co-operative atmosphere at a conference or business meeting ¦for all participants to co-operate and work together in teams ¦to increase communication between all the participants ¦to motivate all participants ¦to strengthen the cohesion of all the delegates ¦to communicate management messagesTeamgel Serious Fun workshops are effective as a standalone exercise when the objective is specific and short term as is the case of creating an atmosphere for a conference or business meeting, or getting people who don’t know each other well to interact with each other quickly.

Teamgel Serious Fun workshops share a characteristic with the concept of motivation. Motivation isn’t something one does with or to people once and thereafter forever and a day the delegates are motivated. People need to be motivated on an ongoing basis. Similarly, Teamgel Serious Fun workshops are more effective for this purpose when held as a part of an ongoing programme to build team spirit and address the interpersonal skills and the ongoing work relationships of the delegates.

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Structure of a LEGO Serious Fun workshop

Teamgel Serious Fun workshops consist of LEGO® exercises structured as team activities. Each activity has an objective with team members working together to achieve that objective. Teams consist of 4 to 6 team members. The number of team members is deliberately kept low because the LEGO® bricks are small and each member must have an opportunity physically to participate in the LEGO® activities.

The standard workshop consists of 3 exercises carefully chosen to take delegates from an attitude of “Am I really going to play with LEGO® bricks?” to singing and dancing together as they encourage their LEGO® dog to perform.

1. The “G” exercise.

One team member is chosen as the “communicator”, and the rest of the team are “builders”.

The communicator goes out of the room, sees a LEGO® model, returns to the room, stands away from the builders and tells his/her team what to build. It is 15 minutes of action and FUN.

We use this exercise as an icebreaker. It gets delegates involved physically and emotionally before they even realize what’s happening. In the more than 8 years of facilitating this exercise, never has an adult failed to become involved. It’s the FUN and competition that work!

2. The “House” exercise

This is a similar communication exercise except there are two communicators and the rest are builders. One communicator stays outside of the room, sees the LEGO® model, is not allowed into the room and tells a second communicator what to build without the second communicator seeing the model. The second communicator then returns to the room, stands away from the builders, and tells them what to build. It’s a competition as to which team can build its house first correctly.

The “House” exercise requires co-operation and communication between the team members. The FUN begins when the two communicators try to put into words the dimensions of the three dimensional LEGO® house. Luckily Humans can talk with their hands.

3. The “Dog” exercise.

The teams are seated at tables and each has to build a LEGO® dog.

The task is to build the dog according to instructions provided and train it to walk across the table and then stop at the opposite side of the table without falling off. The dog that stops closest to the edge wins. Each team has to give its dog a name and cheerlead the dog to perform.

The teams perform individually in front of the other delegates, who are encouraged to discourage the performing LEGO® Dog, while the cheerleaders of the team desperately sing and dance to encourage better performance and avoidance of catastrophe (falling off the table).

This exercise is guaranteed to bring out “the child” in every adult and, when videoed, provides footage that has to be locked away otherwise it can be used to blackmail the guilty!

For those clients who wish to attend a second LEGO® team building workshop there are other LEGO® team building exercises which include xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

When to use LEGO Serious Fun

The term “team building” has many meanings most of which include that the participants have FUN and enjoy each other’s company away from the office. If that is why you are considering a Teamgel Serious Fun workshop then it will exceed all your expectations and some more. What makes Teamgel Serious Fun workshops even more beneficial is they can be used as a tool to achieve a number of management’s objectives to get people to work together.

¦Set the scene at conferences and ensure everyone is on the same page. ¦Introduce new team members to each other ¦Neutralize the demographic differences between people ¦Communicate management messages ¦Teach management principles ¦Give staff the opportunity to see how they and their peers behave in a team environment and learn about team behaviour from that experience

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Why use LEGO Serious Fun   Team building workshops using LEGO® bricks have many advantages over many other formats of team building.

¦the workshop is inclusive. Nobody is left out because they can’t swim or are pregnant. If you work in an office, you can build LEGO® models. ¦The workshop can be held indoors in one conference room. ¦using LEGO® bricks allows people to “return to their youth” and lets the real person emerge through their social inhibitions. What’s more, it’s great FUN. ¦delegates interact and bond with each other in a non-threatening, neutral, non-hierarchical environment. Social impediments and differences are thrown out of the window. ¦the workshop requires little time out of the office and can be a part of a longer agenda ¦the workshop is unique and a leveller of human hierarchies. Building LEGO® models is not an everyday adult occurrence and is very easy to learn. Everyone is equal. ¦there is no upfront financial investment. Teamgel, a division of Sales & Marketing Assignments cc, charges a fee to facilitate the workshop, and that’s all. The client does not have to buy the LEGO® bricks. ¦the workshop can be held for all levels of employee, from members of the Board of Directors to shop floor workers, together or separately.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   4 core steps of LEGO Serious Play

Step 1: Facilitator poses the question

Participants are asked to build and create stories in response to a question. The question should be clear, yet very open-ended

Examples:

¦“What’s your vision for this project?” ¦“What’s your worst nightmare for this design outsourcing initiative?” ¦“How can our team benefit from working together better?” The question triggers the participant’s frame of mind and helps him or her tap into the unconscious in the following step.

Step 2: Individuals build a model

Each participant builds his or her own 3-D model in response to the question that has been posed

Participants work with LEGO® bricks to inspire the use of metaphors and story-making

Step 3: Individuals tell their story

Each participant shares his or her model’s meaning and story with the rest of the team. It is absolutely critical that every person shares their story.

This enables 100% participation during the session which builds commitment to shared action

When participants tell their story their minds make even more connections – using the bricks acts as a catalyst for the mind. The result is that the stories contain more knowledge and ideas than anyone was consciously aware of.

The use of metaphors, imagination, and story-making is integral to the process, and the story-making adds meaning and context.

NOTE: Everyone participates in steps 2 and 3 every time and all the time.

Step 4: Questions and reflections

The facilitator and participants crystallize key insights, and ask clarification questions of the models. The facilitator sums up connections.

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Why use LEGO Serious Play

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology can be used as a group problem solving methodology to address a number of business issues. Here are a few of them:

Team Building

Conferences

Strategic planning

Organisational Culture Change

Diversity & Equal Opportunity

Facilitator Training in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology

Problem Solving

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Objectives of LEGO Serious Play

¦To get 100% participation from everyone in the group ¦To give all participants time to think before they speak ¦To hear and be able to appreciate every person’s unique insight on the issue being discussed ¦To get all participants to “step up to the plate” and be part of the discussion and decision-making ¦To use ways of communicating that help everyone express their thoughts and insights ¦To help the listener understand and remember what is being said and to minimize the risks for misunderstandings and miscommunications ¦Not to favour one particular style of communication ¦To help all participants focus on the message, not the messenger

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Scientific basis of LEGO Serious play

Development of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology is an ongoing collaboration of scientists, researchers, business consultants, and practicing managers, dedicate to improving business performance.

At the core of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology are the theoretical elements of constructivism, play, imagination, and identity

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When to use LEGO Serious Play

The LEGO® Serious Play™ methodology is a good choice:

o When asking each team participant the same question results in different answers o When everyone has an interest or stake in what is on the agenda o When it is important that everyone participates in the discussions o When you want to increase team understanding and at the same time avoid frustration o When you want to use the time efficiently and avoid having anyone tune out o When you would like to provoke new learning and new ways of thinking o When you want to deal with tough and complex issues in a constructive atmosphere o When it is important members can speak their true feelings without intimidation o When you would rather have people say what they really mean than not speak at all o When you have a situation where a few members tend to dominate discussions o When you have a group that feels their meetings tend to be a waste of their time o When you want to create a level playing field for discussion o When it is important that the group finds an answer or solution they can fully commit to o When your meetings or learning events tend to focus more on the messengers than on the messages

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Why use the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology is a facilitated thinking, communication and problem solving technique for use with organisations, teams and individuals. It draws on extensive research from the fields of business, organisation development, psychology and learning, and is based on the concept of “hand knowledge.”

The Power of “Hand Knowledge”

Our hands are connected to between 70 – 80% of our brain cells. Our brains are limited in how much information they can handle at one time. But with the help of all the neural connections in our hands we “know” a lot more at any given moment than we think we know.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology taps into the scribe and to make sense of a situation at hand, to initiate change and improvement, and even to create something radically new. When our hands are used in learning, a complicated process takes place that generates a powerful emotional charge. As a result, not only do thoughts and ideas that are built with our hands tend to be expressed in greater detail but they are easily understood and remembered.

The process is not reliant on the typical verbal banter that goes on in meetings, or filling up “a blank page”. Instead, participants use LEGO® bricks and a unique process where people “think through their fingers” – unleashing insight, inspiration and imagination.

Levelling the playing field

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology is based on belief that everyone has something unique and valuable to contribute to discussions, decisions and outcomes. Its methodology releases and enables individual and team insights and imaginations. People gain understanding and clarity regarding the identity and dynamics of their organization. They are empowered to make effective decisions and do so with confidence and commitment.

Think of the many times people meet during the business day to have a conversation to solve a problem, brainstorm ideas, initiate a project, develop a team, deal with a crisis or create a new strategy. Regardless of the purpose, it’s the people in your organisation who have the potential to contribute to the solutions. They also have the natural desire to influence and impact the things that are important to them.

Traditional ways of working together do not always offer an opportunity for each person to express critical insights. In particular, the over-reliance on assertive verbal interactions that characterizes business practices creates inevitable “winners” and “losers”.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ methodology levels the playing field, engaging 100% attention and participation. Wise leaders recognize that the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is the experience, knowledge and imagination present in the people of the organisation. Too often, it remains simply an untapped capacity.

Efficient decision making

Using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ process is highly efficient. Within just a few days, a group or team can have a clear, shared direction with people who are confidently aligned and committed to a course of action. Suddenly, insights have a real impact on their work and choice of actions. Implementation begins to happen naturally, without requiring a complex Gant chart of accountabilities.