Working as One towards a Shared Vision

How a team from the travel industry framed their shared vision and prepared a 100 day action plan to achieve it, using Lego bricks : A Lego Serious Play Case Study

Workshop Duration: 4 hours

No: participants: 14

Workshop Objective: To create a stronger team with a clear picture of our team vision and understand the positive and negative behaviors needed to realize our team vision.

Facilitator: Namitha Vijayakumar

When the needs analysis for the team revealed a strong need to collaborate, break the silos and create a shared-goal mindset, we knew LSP (Lego Serious Play) would be the most engaging and powerful way to facilitate this workshop,

As the team gathered back after a heavy five-star lunch, they seemed quite skeptical about how the afternoon session will span out.  The colorful Lego bricks on their tables not only pepped them up, but also kindled their curiosity. They were now keen to get started to find out more, and know what’s in stock for them!

The 14 member team was first introduced to the LSP facilitation methodology, through the basic ‘Skill Build’ exercise to get acquainted with the blocks. Some of them who were using the blocks for the first time, enjoyed building and playing with the bricks.

They were encouraged to use metaphors and tell stories of their model and share them with others. This stimulated enhanced communication, confidence and active listening. The participants were seen to speak out openly in a non-threatening environment, keeping aside their egos. After all, they were speaking about the model and not themselves. The owner of the build also was the creator, hence had the freedom to use the metaphors and tell the stories that he/she deemed fit.

After the skill build exercise, the 4 step process of LSP was presented to the team. The rest of the workshop would follow this 4 step process and they were required to abide by the LSP etiquettes while participating in the workshop. The LSP etiquettes were printed in A3 posters and put up at different corners of the training room.

The team was now equipped to get started with the crux of the program. 

The facilitator posed a challenge, and the participants started working on their individual models as an answer to the challenge. The team members were encouraged to use metaphors and share the stories of their model with the others across the table. Active listening and asking questions were encouraged. The participants were curious about each other’s’ model and asked a number of probing questions to understand the story better. At this stage, we witnessed tremendous openness and uncanny ability to view things from different perspectives. A single build may have different stories and interpretations and being able to see and appreciate that was indeed a humbling experience!

As the next stage of the workshop, the team members were asked to flag the most important part of their build and then work together, as a team, to build a shared model. The shared model would have the flagged parts of each individual build. The team went through lot of discussions and brainstorming across the table and after 15 minutes were ready with their shared model. Teams summed up the story of their shared model into a single phrase and wrote them down on colored paper which was kept beside the model. 

Each table had one shared model , which looked interesting and intriguing to the other teams. They just couldn’t wait to listen to each other’s stories. 

A story sharing in progress. Notice all eyes on the model, indicating focused communication.

After sharing and listening to stories they got together around a sticky wall that had all the story summaries. Together they took cues from the paper cards on the wall, identified patterns, removed redundancies and framed one single shared vision for the entire team.

ORID facilitation process was used a this stage for participative consensus building.

As the team themselves formed this shared vision, they felt a sense of ownership and commitment towards it. This was the right time to get them draft actionable steps, (action plan) both at an individual level and team level to achieve the shared vision.

The team went back to their tables and in their groups brainstormed the positive attitudes/behaviors that would help them achieve the vision. They also identified the derailers/challenges to look-out for while striving to achieve the shared goal.

As the last step they came up with a 100 day plan as well as an individual action plan that will ensure that the shared vision doesn’t end up as dream on a piece of paper!

The participants were instructed to use action verbs like plan, prepare, enroll, meet, facilitate etc. while drafting their 100 day plan. The 100 day plan was split into first 30 days, next 30 days  and last 30 days. 

At the end of the intensive but fun engagement the participants took an oath they framed and left the room with increased levels of commitment towards each other and a lingering zeal to do more and prove themselves as champions!

What a day it was! Truly amazing people, process and synergy! Looking forward to facilitate more such engagements and positively impact many more individuals and teams!

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