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So it turns out that Legos, those multicolored bricks you put together to make funky-looking cars or buildings that span the color spectrum, actually have a pretty good use in the office.
A few companies have been experimenting with how to use Legos in the office to solve problems, enhance creative thinking and get people out of burnout ruts. And, if you think that this sounds like a pretty fringe idea that’s only applicable to a few fields, think again – companies from Google and Microsoft to the US Naval Warfare Division and Harvard Business School are using it.
One way is through a program called Lego Serious Play (LSP), which is a process where team members use Legos to make a model of something having to do with the business (like a concern they have with the company or aspirations they have within it), and then they’re told to describe what they’ve built.
“I often find that they build the model with assumptions that were not already explained, allowing us to dig in to find the true root cause of the problem,” said Jessica Milmeister, the director of enterprise quality at government services company V2X Inc.
Other groups use LSP for more practical applications. At NASA, engineers are using Legos to build models of things they’re working on engineering. At Google’s New York campus, the idea is that Legos can be used to get people out of their creative ruts, decreasing the amount of time people spend in burnout.
Let’s be clear; experts aren’t claiming that Legos solve every problem a company might have. But the bottom line is that they do have the potential to solve some of the creative blockages that get in the way of things every once in a while, and they can facilitate communications in the short run. And hey, if you’re getting paid to play with Legos, are you really going to complain?