Meet Klaudia Wojciechowska (Poland)
Starting LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
The training market in Poland is full of creative trainers. Social media is full of groups sharing information about what’s new, where to find it and how to apply it. I was among them, searching for methods and tools that fit my personal training style better than copyrighted training games. Methods and tools that, importantly for me, emphasize the process of creative and inclusive learning.
I began by delighting in simulation games; they are ideal for topics ranging from team building through conflict management to leadership. They are not without their disadvantages. Many participants found it difficult to navigate abstract plots and difficult scenarios in isolation from the situation of a particular person, group, or company. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY goes further. Although it too relies on imagination, metaphor, it presents very personal opinions and ideas in a literal and physical form. The model is something that gives voice to those who speak a lot every day; know how to build coalitions, but perhaps don’t know how to listen. The model gives voice to those who every day implement, sometimes thoughtlessly, sometimes not able to present their great ideas, looking for a space to do so. Most importantly for me: none can be silenced.
This led me to use the bricks and the method, first in undemocratic communities where it was important to hear everyone’s voice. I worked with difficult youths from vocational schools in a program that would build their learning engagement. LEGO bricks were the trick. You build a model, and you have to talk about it. You don’t have a way out. That’s what happened. For the duration of building the school’s governance strategy, we had democracy! That was the point. Together we shared thinking about school governance, showed the school’s complex ecosystem, and discussed all the “what ifs”. It was a really good, opening experience!
Then I decided to launch a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY strategy workshop to members of a political party preparing for the general election. It wasn’t easy. The very sight of LEGO bricks discouraged the participants from the task, but it also provoked a discussion about how they should implement a common political program if we were not able to trust, listen, try to understand a simple task and what it could bring. It was difficult to overcome the reluctance. Yes, sometimes it is not necessary to organize a complicated simulation game. The bricks can provoke the participants to very interesting discussions and conclusions, totally outside the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method! Even though they eventually built the model, I was disappointed with the outcome of this workshop as a facilitator, and I would be disappointed with the outcome as a potential voter. The participants were able to formulate very general and impractical conclusions, although the potential for developing the method in such teams seems, to me, very high and unexploited.
Perhaps this is what I wish for myself and other trainers in the years to come. To look for applications and (more spectacular) examples of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method in political groups. Leading us in some time to see well thought out strategies and programs of political parties developed in the form of LEGO models. Will the time come for LEGO SERIOUS POLITICAL PLAY?