What is happening now?

It is not uncommon for education institutions to focus more on lectures as the widely used instructional practice. In this ‘chalk and talk’ approach, the teachers are seen as the dispensers of knowledge.

Today we face an ever-changing Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) business environment. The current practices in our institutions of higher learning do not prepare our graduate students for the VUCA environment. Stakeholders need to call for a change in the way we teach. Given this current chaotic and dynamic business environment, how can we train and teach our graduate students?

What are our options?

Everyone agrees on the need to change and improve our teaching approaches so that we are capable of producing graduates who are competent to take on responsibility. How can we make it happen?

For starters, researchers recommend that we let our students think and analyse the business environment using models such as design thinking. Design Thinking is a solution-focused approach that basically attempts to create the desired future. The design thinking approach allows organisations to manage complex challenges using tools such as Rapid prototyping, Assumption Testing, Rapid Concept Development & Story Telling. These tools help to develop relevant and focused solutions to manage the VUCA dimensions to improve the businesses.

Building upon this, we have realised one of the ways to integrate the dimensions and tools of design and system thinking in the workplace is to consider the LEGO® Serious Play® method and materials.

The LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) method and materials offer powerful solutions to unlock the potential of employees and shift their habitual thinking. LSP, when facilitated by a competent and certified facilitator, will enable everyone who is involved in decision making to lean forward, ensuring 100 per cent engagement.

How does the LEGO® Serious Play® method work in education?

Students use the specially designed LEGO® Serious Play® materials comprising Identity & Landscape Kit, Starter kit and Connections kit. Participants using the LSP materials enjoy a high level of interaction and able to dive deeper into innovative ideas. A number of research studies confirm the usefulness of LSP as a pedogogical application to unlock new knowledge while being an interesting and new way to learn.

The use of LSP makes the learning experience effective and memorable. And the concept is not totally new. A number of universities around the world have already started using the LEGO® Serious Play® method as part of their business education.

According to Kris Normandin, Curriculum Director, Executive Education, Simmons School of Management, Boston who integrates LSP in his teachings, the LEGO® Serious Play® “methodology really allowed people to visualize and connect with each other’s story, as well as gain additional insights into their own leadership”.

Moving Forward

Let your MBA and other post-graduate students master essential business skills that empower them to cope with the VUCA business environment. With this ever relevant system and design-thinking skill-set, they will be ready to build better businesses upon graduation.

If you have any questions about this article, need more information about how this approach can help in Business Education, or simply want to say “Hi”, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].