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By: Shaheena Nazir Judge


Flashing back our memory, once Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo who was then elected as the President of the Republic of Indonesia, on his presidential candidacy in 2014 said that people commonly talk about physical and economic. Whereas, the ultimate setback of the nation is character building which then he called as mental revolution.

In today’s fast changing world, the slogan gains, along with Jokowi’s distinction, popularity, where information are now at the tip of our hands. However, the title of the article might cast doubt on the reader’s mind upon linking Lego, associated with kid’s toy, to the top leader’s slogan. Mental revolution, Lego, and personal development are the key words of this article.

As business today is getting more competitive, every action counts. Every organization is facing head to head with competitor in developing or contributing their unique identity. No doubt, in such a rapid move business, in terms of corporate or state governance, people development is very imperative.

Jokowi obviously conveys his message that in mental revolution the creation of qualified human resources will help improve industry in Indonesia. It goes along with the transformation of the old into new mindset of positivism as he always underlines.

People development is a key factor that organization must never  forget. The principles include improvement of leadership skill, technical and nontechnical skills, communication with mutual respect. These elements enable people perform their excellence from the heart, continuous improvement of work ethic, great teamwork, and conducive system. People then will take pride to be in an organization success.

Long before understanding of learning as a key to success, the principles of continuous improvement (kaizen) and respect for people had been introduced to organizations in Japan. This is also what Jeffrey Liker, a professor of industrial engineering at the University of Michigan, analyses in his book ‘The Toyota Way’ (2004) who stresses out both principles as the basic foundations.

Personal development can be delivered through education system or training. Training, which helps run business better, can create programs that match the need for successful work in the field.

Training here may adopt the use of bricks of Lego. Research found out that children playing Lego are more engaged, creative, and communicate better. The kids who played with blocks performed better on divergent problems. They also showed more creativity in their attempts to solve the problems (Pepler and Ross, 1981 as cited by Dewar, 2015). The positive benefits here are surely applicable to the real business world.

A training using Lego methodology might be deemed an innovative process of design to enhance innovation and business performance. It indicates that learning process through Lego create deeper meaning of understanding of the work.

The interlocking principles with its tubes makes it unique and offers unlimited building possibilities. It is just a matter of getting the imagination going and letting wealth of creative ideas emerge through play (Mortensen, 2012). It is then believed that the brick working as a catalyst can enhance business performance.

Unlike children, an adult play Lego with a purpose, that is linking the play to real case in an organization. Lego allows adult to create and give meaning, give mind a hand, set up creative energy, and provide model of thinking. It is more than just a brick. It is a tool that can generate problem solving, communication, leadership, teamwork, visioning, and so much more.

A trained adult, upon having played with Lego, said that she can develop new possible way of improving self, construction of new possibility, solving and addressing the same issues.

It might be his initial idea for the Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen, when he invented Lego in 1932 which is derived from Danish leg godt (means ‘play well’). Lego ignites the players’ creativity. Creativity in individuals requires a collective effort to develop a mental-revolution program that scholars say is a set of thoughts, knowledge and ideas that together constitute a conceptual frame of reference as a guide for action (Alwasilah; The Jakarta Post, 12/12/ 2014) .

In daily life, mental revolution is by being human with integrity who has hard work and social spirits. Playing Lego is another way to build character of qualified human resources. Investing people is never wrong in pursuit of excellence for an organization. This is a tool to improve people. At least, Christiansen has served as the living evidence when his innovation brand here could thump the Ferrari brand and put it as the world’s most powerful brand nowadays.*

The author is a certified facilitator, writer of two books, “Leaders with Passion” and “Leaders Voice”.

See more at: Creativity key to ‘mental revolution’ A. Chaedar Alwasilah, Bandung | Opinion | Fri, December 12 2014) (Mortensen, Tine Froberg, 2012)