A team-building activity in which groups must work together to build a structure out of LEGO, but each individual has a secret “assignment” which makes the collaborative process more challenging. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy.
Emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy
Organize participants into groups of 5 - 7. Each group sits around a table with a box of LEGO. Ask participants not to touch the LEGO until the activity begins.
Prepare the assignments in step 3 beforehand
Give the instructions: Your task, as a group, is to build a structure with these LEGO bricks. In a moment, each of you will get a piece of paper, where your individual assignment is written. You may not show or tell your assignment to the rest of the team.
You will have 20 minutes to build your structure. You may not speak during the building process. You must continue building until the time is up. I will announce when the time is up.
Hand out the “assignments,” one per participant (see the list below). Remind participants that they must not show their assignment to anyone else.
Assignments Print these and cut them up.
- You are the only one allowed to build (put bricks together) in the first 3 layers of the building.
- You must make sure that layers 3 and 4 only consist of yellow bricks. You have to make sure that layers 2 and 6 consist of exactly eight bricks.
- You are the only one allowed to build (put bricks together) in rows 5 and 6 of the building.
- You have to make sure that a maximum of eight bricks are used in the 3rd and 5th layers of the building.
- You are the leader of the group.
- You have to make sure that the building is no higher than a maximum of eight layers. If people stop building when they have reached the eighth layer, you have to make sure they continue building in the layers below.
- You have to make sure that the bricks that are next to each other in layers 1, 6 and 8 do not have the same color.
- You have to make sure that there are, together with you, two others and only two others who build in layers 4 and 8.
- You have to make sure that only a maximum of 3 participants build (put bricks together) in layers 4 and 7.
- You have to make sure that there are only red bricks in the 2nd and 5th layers of the building.
- You have to make sure that the first layer (layer 1) of the building consists of exactly 10 bricks.
Once everyone has an assignment, begin the time and let participants start. If needed, remind participants that they are not allowed to speak during the building process.
After 20 minutes, tell participants to stop building. Invite them to guess the “assignments” of the other members of their group. Explain that they may now share their secret assignments with each other.
As a final step, debrief the activity by reflecting on how the groups worked together. Use reflection questions such as:
- What happened during the task?
- How did we work as a group?
- How did the experience make me feel?
- How did I behave / respond / react?
- What did I learn about myself?
- What did I learn about groups?
- How can I apply insights from this activity?
- How did leadership dynamics emerge in the team?
- What made it possible to communicate without words?
- How does this remind you of your everyday job situation?
- What would have happened if...
- ... you knew who the leader was or if the leader understood his and your assignments?
- ... you tried to listen more to each other?
- ... you had a different body language?
- ... you all knew each other’s assignments?
Source: Hyper Island toolbox
Hyper Island designs learning experiences that challenge companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitized world. With clients such as Google, adidas and IKEA, Hyper Island has been listed by CNN as one of the most innovative schools in the world
Comments (4) (4.5 avg / 2 ratings)
It seems as if the fact that they are not allowed to talk is somewhat forced. What added value does that give to the assignment in terms of learning about the group dynamics and conflict management? Some stuff in the debrief also hints that not being allowed to speak is an after-thought, otherwise - how does "What would happened if you tried to listen more to each other" work when they´re not allowed to speak at all?
Hi Aparna Gupta, it doesn't really matter which ones. It's interesting to see how these combine to each other and the outcomes of these combinations. Of course, if you want to see something in particular, better select some to be out or in.
The assignments are 11 and participant numbers in each group is 5-7. So which 7 out of 11 do we give out to each group and what do we do with the assignments that are not given out?