So here’s the question. Can you gamify Lego Serious Play? Would you want? How might it impact the flow and the participation?
Well we did just that at the Gamification World Congress 2015 in Barcelona in November.
Firstly because the workshop’s focus was to share knowledge about the basic s of Gamification and gamifying participation to later talk about intrinsic and extrinsic rewards was the perfect way to indirectly deal with something fundamental in gamification.
Secondly we knew the participants in this workshop we’re going to be receptive to something different and something new so this was the perfect opportunity to try something I’ve been thinking about for some time.
So how did we do it?
We got participants into flow using basic Lego Serious Play techniques but between building challenges we introduced a reward system using the Lego bricks themselves. On sitting down, apart from the Lego on the table, each participant was given a small four-brick structure made up of four classic 2×4 bricks. It was made clear that these 4 bricks are not to be used in any of building or construction challenges and that they were their personal bricks.
We then launched into the workshop using basic skills building exercises and then moved through the script to share knowledge on areas related to Gamification. However after each building challenge and the subsequent sharing and debate, we asked participants to quickly stop, think and reward. We specifically asked them to think of the most insightful contribution from the round they had just completed and once they had it clear in their minds, we got them to reward by simultaneously giving one of their 4 bricks to the person who had shared that insight.
We did this 4 times throughout the session and at the end of the workshop we asked each table to identify the winner. The prize was only made known at the end but it had two elements: on the one hand the winner got to give a present to the all other participants at the table (a small bag of Lego bricks) and at the same time the other members had to personally thank the winner for their contribution.
Although obviously difficult to measure with data, the process worked well and seemed to encourage participation. The level of engagement and participation was as I have seen in similar sessions but the brief prize-giving moment at the end was very much a positive climax to the session as a whole.
After the session I spoke to several participants individually to see how they perceived the process as participants and all the feedback was positive. Some of the points they mentioned were:
Part of the success was in not knowing what the prize was going to be. This combined with the fact that the prize was very much an “everyone-is-a- winner “ scenario where constructive positive feedback was central created a very positive finish to the session
Having to reward others in this way made them focus even more on listening to the stories, the models and the reflections at the table Rewarding others by sacrificing your own bricks heightened the sense of responsibility and being fair
One person at a table perceived a type of “levelling” whereby participants helped each other to not end up without bricks by actively clarifying, asking and any helping some participants to develop their stories
One participant commented on the fact getting a brick as recognition from the person beside him felt a bit like being back in school secondary school and getting a smile from the person he always fancied. He knew he was doing something right and it encouraged him to do it again and better.
Any comments from other participants at the session? Feel free to comment here.
All in all it was a great exercise to indirectly get participants to think about intrinsic and extrinsic reward (a key discussion in gamification).
Lastly, from a Lego Serious Play method standpoint, I will take the process and the findings and refine it more. Depending on the group and the objective of the session, it is definitely something I will consider as an option in the future.
En Enero de este año tuvimos la experiencia única de realizar una serie de talleres para los 180 empleados de una unidad de producción de uno de nuestros clientes. El objetivo era explorar las formas en que la planta podría mejorar su rendimiento, trabajando mejor en equipo y al mismo tiempo, proporcionar una plataforma para el diálogo constructivo saludable entre los diferentes equipos.
Para maximizar el impacto y reducir al mínimo el tiempo de inactividad de producción, decidimos ejecutar talleres idénticos en sesiones paralelas a lo largo de un día, con lo que todo el mundo pasó a través del proceso en un período de 12 horas.
Con el fin de maximizar las oportunidades de intercambio de conocimientos por todo la fábrica y de crear nuevas sinergias entre equipos y personas, nos aseguramos de que cada grupo tenía personal de distintos departamentos y unidades de negocio, con los gerentes y supervisores distribuidos en todas las mesas.
Utilizamos los dos primeros desafíos para conseguir un “flow” perfecto y para crear un ambiente de confianza en cada mesa. Después, exploramos tres áreas clave:
Las habilidades y competencias que esperamos de las personas con las que trabajamos. Esto fue seguido por un debate y la reflexión en cada mesa y el intercambio de puntos fuertes y áreas de crecimiento
Las características de un equipo perfecto, partiendo de una perspectiva personal y luego convirtiendo ideas individuales en una visión de grupo en cada mesa. A continuación se llevó a cabo una discusión en cada mesa sobre cómo son sus respectivos equipos, y la planta en su conjunto, se comparaba con este “equipo perfecto”
Ideas tangibles y concretas directamente bajo nuestro control o influencia que nos podrían ayudar a construir equipos perfectos en toda la planta de producción en todos los niveles.
A pesar de la variedad de perfiles de los participantes había un ambiente de trabajo perfecto y tal y como hemos visto en el pasado con otros clientes, estos talleres en el que se mezclan funciones administrativas, de gestión y producción, siempre se llega a ideas y opiniones profundamente sinceras y valiosas para todos.
Convirtiendo Modelos e Historias en Tareas y Trabajo
Como cada taller era idéntico en su planteamiento, fuimos capaces de recopilar toda la información que teníamos y armonizar en un solo documento de Excel. Categorizamos los diferentes conceptos tratados en cada mesa y usamos tablas dinámicas en Excel para dar distintas interpretaciones a la información. Esto proporcionó información muy útil sobre “hilos conductores” por todo la planta, necesidades de formación a nivel grupal e individual y destapó problemas con algunos procesos internos. Tratar los datos así nos ha permitido presentar el cliente un informe completo y ahora estamos estudiando cómo ayudar e intervenir más específicamente.
Reflexiones Por Parte del Grupo al Terminar
Por último, aunque ha sido solo el cierre, al final de cada sesión, terminamos con una simple ronda de “¿qué hemos hecho?” Y el simple reconocimiento por parte de las personas en cada sesión de que habían hablado, escuchado, fomentado la creatividad, respetado mutuamente, colaborado, compartido y jugado quedó claro que habían hecho algo muy importante y fue en sí mismo un paso adelante.
In January of this year we had unique experience of rolling out a series workshops to all 180 staff of one of our client’s production units. The objective was to explore ways in which the plant could perform better as a cohesive collaborative unit and at the same time to provide a platform for healthy constructive dialogue between the different teams.
To maximize impact and to minimize production downtime, we decided to run identical workshops in parallel sessions throughout one day, thus bringing everyone through the process in one 12 hour period.
In order to maximize knowledge sharing opportunities across the factory and to create new synergies between teams and individuals, we ensured that each group had staff from the various departments and business units with managers and supervisors spread across all the tables.
We used the first two challenges to get everyone in flow and to create a sense of trust at each table. After that we explored three key areas:
The skills and competencies we expect from the people we work with. This was followed by discussion and reflection at each table and sharing of personal strengths and growth areas
The characteristics of a perfect team, starting from a personal perspective and then converting them into a group vision at each table. This was followed by discussion at each table on how their respective teams, and the plant as a whole, measured up to this “perfect team”
Tangible and specific ideas that will help them to build perfect teams across the production plant at all levels.
Despite the varied profiles of the participants there was perfect “flow” and as we have seen in the past with our clients, workshops with a mix of administrative, managerial and production roles always uncover some deeply sincere and valuable insights for all.
Turning Models and Stories into Real Follow-up
Given that each workshop was identical with the same outputs, afterwards we were able to collate all the information we had and harmonize it into one document, categorizing the various concepts dealt with at each table and analyzing the groupings and classifications in pivot tables. This provided very useful insights into common threads running through all the workshops and also highlighted key training and growth areas for individuals and teams and in our report we presented these opportunities and issues back the client with recommendations on how to build on the positives and improve on the growth areas. We are all ready looking at how to build on these workshops with more specific proposals.
Lastly,at the end of each session, we finished with a simple round of “what have we done?” and the simple recognition by the people in each session that that they had: talked, listened, been creative, respected each other, collaborated, shared and played made it clear that they had taken a significant step forward.