NMHHSS needed the collaboration with multiple agencies on a Harm Reduction housing project to provide community support services to individuals with mental health and addiction issues.
The challenge was to collaboratively define the best role for each agency and their specific involvement within the context of the individuals being served and to define a cohesive vision for the home. If this challenge was to be achieved using the typical meeting and facilitator format it would have taken several meetings over several weeks to help define clear roles and responsibilities, develop a vision and a plan for implementation. These meetings also do not stimulate creative thinking and cohesion amongst attendees that is required to complete this large project.
The LEGO® Serious Play® methodology was presented to the steering committee as an option by Neha Singh (CEO of PACE.), who was the project manager for this project
By completing a LEGO® Serious Play® Session, nearly 30 professionals from different agencies were able to come together in a comfortable, creative environment to meet and discuss the challenges and the vision of how they could most effectively collaborate on this project together.
In the 7 hour session tables were set up and people from different agencies were asked to design what value they perceived their agency brought to the table using LSP®. At the end of the session all of the agencies put their visions together and connected this to the vision of the home. This process was successful in breaking down barriers and allowing people who were working in different agencies and positions to meet in a relaxed atmosphere.
It was an engaging session for management and staff because it forced people to get involved with building their own perspectives of their own agency with the LEGOs® provided. It gave all participants, even those that are not outgoing, a chance to express their opinion. At the end of the session everyone’s LEGO® Vison was connected together to create a large scale and cohesive vision of the multiple agencies.
The session with LEGO® Serious Play® allowed every agency to voice their opinion in a non-threatening environment which has allowed people to gain a new understanding of each other, as individuals well as agencies, that they had not been able to prior to the Lego serious play session.
LEGO® Serious Play® was used at a Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services (NMHHSS) North Bay Program Planning session in order to bring multiple mental health partners in the North Bay community together, working on the same project. The LEGO® Serious Play® methodology allowed all stakeholders to effectively illustrate their point of view in a comfortable setting. It was successful in that it aided in bringing people from different employment backgrounds together to break down barriers and come to mutual agreements on a collaborative housing project to keep the individuals using the service at the forefront of the planning.