Facilitator Andrew Berrigan

Meet Andrew Berrigan (USA)

I’D BEEN IN IRAQ LONG ENOUGH to get used to some of its unique experiences: “mud rainstorms,” caused by raindrops mixing with particles of dust suspended in the air; highly questionable holes in the ground substituting for restroom stalls; and the daily grind being interrupted by rocket attacks. Despite my time in the “sandbox,” however, there was one thing I hadn’t quite figured out: how to fully align my vision for my Air Force team with the mission tasked to us by our Army brethren.

About thirteen years later, and about two years after I concluded my military service, I facilitated my first-ever workshop using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) method. Staring at the participants, gathered to create a shared, aligned vision for their organization, the thought must have occurred to me: it sure would have been great to have this back in Iraq!

Though not all of American culture is reflected in the US military, there’s perhaps one mantra that’s clung to by leadership in both military and civilian society: innovation drives success; inertia invites self-destruction.

It’s no wonder I could see the applicability of LSP in both military and civilian life.

Model: Participant Building
Participant Building

When it came to my time in Iraq, an LSP based workshop could have been just the innovative tool my team needed to gain clarity on our mission and internalize our individual roles. In a “micro-workshop” I facilitated for a group of young professionals this last March, LSP helped open their minds to ways they could collaborate to innovate, engaging in “creative destruction,” to borrow Joseph Schumpeter’s famous phrase, and avoiding their own self-destruction. And in a full-day workshop for a team of state Human Services professionals this April, LSP helped my participants learn how to adapt to a changing professional and political landscape.

Model: Looking across the table
Model looking across the table

It’s a big responsibility to guide participants through such wide-ranging workshops. Fortunately, I’ve not had to bear it alone. Just as I was never without the support of my comrades in the Air Force, I’m never without the support of the LSP community as a facilitator.

We’re a comparatively small and spreadout group in the US, but we’re passionate about LSP, and we love collaborating. Whether at the annual North American Community Meeting, on a Zoom call, or even at an in-person coffee chat, we love brainstorming, building, imagining what could be–and helping each other make it happen.

Going forward, I see the growing community of US-based facilitators taking LSP to civilian boardrooms and military units across the country. I’m proud to count myself among them.

Download the article from the magazine here

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