Monika Sońta is an organizational researcher, balancing between the world of science and business consulting. Right after the LEGO Serious Play workshop I talk to her about learning creativity and how much creativity do companies of the future need.
Everyone wants to be creative and to discover innovations with that creativity. Building creative confidence makes a difference and defines anew your style of living and working. Creating organizational culture in this spirit supports progress, agility and learning in a different way.
Creativity is typically associated with artistic activities, but in the context of organizations it is about looking for solutions were seemingly there are none. This is the right attitude for organizations of the future, which are not going to fear innovative solutions, such as replacing humans with machines in some areas, but will be able to make decisions and find the space and the competences to create individual reality adequate to the needs. Instead of being afraid, such organizations will be using the changing reality in the right way, which means they will be able and will want to interpret data in a reflective and creative way.
Funny idea: to make adults occupying serious positions in international corporations sit to a table packed with LEGO blocks to build and play – that’s what one might think seeing for the first time how LEGO is used during the workshops. But when you realize this is an innovative solution, introduced by companies of the future, companies which support creative confidence in their employees, and which are not afraid of taking a wider look at the organization – you feel like learning more about it. LEGO Serious Play is an opportunity to experiment, which in turn helps to expand the way we think from linear to systematic.
The blocks encourage you to start building. To create. We connect the blocks. We start to work with our hands, we use this hands on – minds on attitude, which means that by activating your hands, you activate the brain. You start to think differently.
It’s about showing employees interdependencies, and since adults need to see things with their own eyes, they can design them themselves. What emerges is yet another element of a learning organization. But only if the organization is mature enough. Some organizations are not yet grown ups and are not able to try this method. Some teaching methods are not in line with the organizational culture, so you can either change the culture or simply give it up.
The lifelong kindergarten is a concept which talks about how organizations learn that listen to their people, and how they build a structure in which you don’t need to feel ashamed of playing with building blocks.
The lifelong kindergarten concept is based on four key points:
In other words, it’s an ability to create such conditions for employees’ development, which go beyond the linear career path and enter the ecosystem of solutions.
Creativity does not always go hand in hand with efficacy; not everyone has to be creative, and the excess of creativity – as always – can be harmful. The truth is, if decision makers do not want to introduce creativity, they won’t allow it to feel at home in their organization.
It’s difficult to introduce elements of fun, experimenting and learning about new communication and cooperation possibilities, if it’s seen as something wrong and unwanted at the top. However, if you manage to try and to show what this method is about despite the resistance, then the dialogue can start. It is a good starting point for people to start speaking the same language. It is about normalizing definitions and to speak about the same things. About knowing that all the topics discussed have the same meaning for us all.
It is also important to observe what happens to creativity and its energy in connection with communication. Especially internal communication.
If an organization notices that communication based on tools, processes, information flow and cascading linear processes no longer works, it can start looking for new communication ideas.
If something doesn’t work and you want to change internal communication, this is the moment to get people more involved who are supposed to communicate anyway.
The idea behind an organization is that we all want to achieve the same business goal. Communication and progress are the areas where you can see added value. One such value is LEGO Serious Play, becauseLEGO is something people notice instantly and are curious about it.
New solutions awaken curiosity which companies need. Such curiosity, in turn, awakens creativity to do things differently. And to talk about business in an engaging way.
This is just one of “Your First Customer” interviews. Interested? Watch other interviews. You can also read the book “Your First Customer. How to Turn Employees into Company Ambassadors”.