Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Lego Architect constructs MBA teams at Royal Holloway

Freshers week is truly in full flow, with a beautiful sunny afternoon on campus allowing student societies to promote themselves. 
The Royal Holloway MBA group, of course, were already in full swing getting their teeth into their first real case study and being challenged to break the ice using a Lego team building challenge. No time to sit out in the sun luxuriating in the beautiful environment provided by the stunning Egham campus. 
MBA Candidates, who hail from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds that includes the Bahamas, Iran, USA, China, Nigeria, Thailand, Taiwan, India Chile and UK, have just this week embarked on a year long personal and professional development programme. 

MBA students organised themselves into groups according to their business backgrounds (a crucial element of MBA learning is peer-to-peer exchange) and were given an emergent problem to solve, designed to fast track important team working skills and encourage learning.  The set task (a metaphor for 'work') was to use plastic blocks to create a scale model of a global, iconic skyscraper - Chicago's Willis Tower, Dubai's off shore Burj-Al-Arab, Seattle's Space needle and the Empire State building. 
On completion of the task MBA Director (eerrr...that's me ?) Justin O'Brien invited the groups to reflect on what they had learnt using the US military knowledge management technique of After Action Review (AAR), that encourages groups to identify winning and losing behaviours and enables formal, wider (organisational) dissemination. 
In addition to noting that additional (unneeded) parts are often included in Lego sets, there was much reflection on ideas of effective planning, communication, trust, identifying strengths, the need to have fun and degrees of risk taking.