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How we help companies tell great stories using Lego

Here at Aamplify we play with LEGO. A lot. We have boxes of the stuff. We have LEGO mini figurines on our desks, LEGO stickers, LEGO creations proudly placed around the office and a LEGO welcome sign for our guests.

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We also play with nerf guns, have pub quizzes and we did our own version of The Amazing Race for last year’s Christmas party. Some would say we are just another creative agency playing with all the ‘toys’. But I would disagree.

Yes, we do have an office dog (who recently made her modelling debut in our client’s campaign https://www.facebook.com/FrogRecruitment/?fref=ts)

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but we don’t have table tennis, a beer fridge, fixies, an in-house band or beards.

There is actually a very good reason why we like LEGO, and it’s all to do with LEGO Serious Play. This is a method of brainstorming that encourages design thinking, storytelling and helps develop presentation skills within our team.

LEGO Serious Play was developed in 1996 by LEGO (funnily enough) to help facilitate creative thinking within teams and organisations. We all have ideas and insights, but not everyone can unlock them or express them. By using LEGO blocks to build models of metaphors, you can help people tap into their imagination, solve problems and collectively make decisions, regardless of their seniority within their company. This “hands-on, minds-on approach produces a deeper more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities.”

Celebrating our success through LEGO (and storytelling)

Our Managing Partner, Sam, is a certified LEGO Serious Play facilitator and a strong proponent of using this to help our clients tell their stories. He also champions celebrating key milestones with the team.

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Every year, we celebrate the company’s anniversary and 2017 was our 5th. I was tasked with running the event we call “Pride”, which is aimed at celebrating our successes over the year and instilling a sense of pride in the team for what we have achieved.

Sam set this year’s theme to be ‘A Winning Attitude’. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of team-building exercises or ‘enforced’ company fun, so this was quite a challenge for me in how to get a team engaged in a day-long event about applying ‘A Winning Attitude’ to ourselves and our work.

So, I devised a plan, which included working within a team, with a brief and a deadline, and completing tasks that required research, creativity, presentations, listening and collaboration. The day also included yummy food (imperative), running around the city (in the rain), LEGO building (of course), an in-house interactive pub quiz and a surprise video showcasing all our work from the past year, and the fun times we had along the way.

The teams were given different areas around the city to explore and find something that represented ‘A Winning Attitude’ to them. They had to document the process along the way, build a LEGO model which represented their ‘Winning Attitude’, create a presentation on what they discovered and then present it to the whole company at the end of the day. We like a bit of pressure – seriously!

And that pressure created spectacular results. Everyone was impressed by the ideas, the creativity and the work they all achieved in such a short time. Team members who don’t work on the creative side got to be part of a creative team, and the creative team members got to be part of a strategic team. Junior team members got to call the shots and senior members took direction.

The biggest take-away we all agreed upon at the end of the day was the confirmation that we are all storytellers in our own right.

Here are some of the final LEGO creations depicting ‘A Winning Attitude’

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A few of the team stories:

Sometimes we just need to step away from our daily work and, with a little help and direction we can unlock our creativity to discover and tell our stories. And that is where our new initiative StoryLab comes into play.

Welcome to StoryLab

StoryLab has been designed specifically to help your company craft and tell great stories. Through great stories, you can create real connections with your audience. At StoryLab, we help you explore the way you communicate and convey your messages and then delve into how these are understood. This can be done on an individual basis, a team basis or even company-wide.

Check out www.storylab.live or get in touch with us to learn more.   

Paula Nightingale

A producer at heart, Paula is passionate about executing great ideas and making things happen – in time and on budget of course. Paula draws inspiration from the people and immense talent working in the creative industries.