The power of ‘child’s play’ as a learning tool has long been advocated by human development experts. The Montessori school of thought has advocated the technique of letting children learn through play for decades, and it’s a philosophy that’s seeping into the professional sphere for problem solving in adults.
Serious Play is the adult term for using toys, notably Lego, to solve problems and team build. The beauty of Serious Play workshops is that the process puts everybody within a team on a level playing field. Everybody from managers to interns builds with the same instructions. By removing the work milieu and tools of daily tasks, participants benefit from a less stressful environment, enabling them fully access their creativity. The dominance of louder individuals is muted in this environment, allowing entire teams to solve problems, overcome hurdles and feel inspired on an individual and communal level.
The concept of adults playing with children’s toys may seem strange, but the power of play is nothing to be scoffed at. Through our experience in Lego Serious Play facilitation, the ability of building, without having to think allows everybody to participate. A conventional team-building activity is not as powerful. Instead of articulating a problem, you can build it, and visualise how to solve it.
By looking at problems through a different lens, internal problem-solving capabilities can be unlocked and utilised in a new way. This can be an invaluable resource for teams meeting project deadlines and new challenges.
For more information on Lego Serious Play, and how it could help your team be more successful, visit our website: Lego Serious Play
There’s also a wonderful TED talk on the science of play. Watch it here
In order to calm the busy, metropolitan mind, recent years have seen a spike in mindfulness, meditation and yoga. With allegedly 60% of the UK workforce feeling overworked, it’s evident that employee welfare needs to be reprioritised at work. Consequently, there’s been a flurry of literature over introducing these wellness measures into the workplace.
A recent article by The Guardian has advocated workplace activities such as group yoga, or meetings that take place whilst walking around the office: a sort of millennial take on office culture. It is interesting to note that the Guardian article particularly addresses SMEs in its efforts to promote workplace wellbeing, as these businesses form the majority of the UK’s workforce. Team welfare activities are also the perfect opportunity for smaller teams to bond.
Apart from your own home, the workplace is where professionals spend most of their time, thus it is easy to see why wellness activities are being advocated: it’s crucial that these spaces allow us to look after our health. We’ve developed a culture of coffee-downing, lunch at your desk, skipping breakfast to run for the tube in order to keep up with the demands of the working week, and we don’t need a medical professional to tell us why this is unhealthy.
The introduction of these welfare measures could also bolster productivity. It has long been established that exercise can help boost morale and work output. So for CEOs and executives reluctant to carve out time from the working day for exercise, a focus on wellbeing could provide a welcome improvement in employee output.
Creative Review recently published an extensive report on wellbeing in the creative workplace, suggesting a whole host of measures to increase happiness at work. Exercise, open workspace and having plant life in the office were all suggested as ways of boosting worker mentality and productivity.
It can be hard for companies to begin to think about group yoga or meditation sessions, especially considering demanding schedules and multiple deadlines. However, if this valuable time can improve wellbeing and productivity in staff, then it is surely worth the investment. Whilst we’re not sure we’ll be introducing ‘walking meetings’ just yet, we’ll certainly invest time from our working day into group activities to make our team happy, so we can keep making yours happy.
Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool that has spread rapidly throughout the business community. By learning how to use the Business Model Canvas, you will have an effective means of prototyping business ideas, testing business assumptions, adapting existing business models, and streamlining creative collaboration with friends and colleagues.
Traditionally, we think of helping as the act of providing value without compensation. From a certain perspective, this makes sense. However, there is a lot that you receive in the act of giving a helping hand, and often the value is worth more than the effort spent.