Play to Innovate
Play to Communicate
Play to Collaborate
About Talia Dashow
I'm hardwired to bring people together through play and creativity.
I bring play and creativity to everything I do. I always have.
It's just the way I'm built.
During the years I spent in the corporate world, I discovered that I’m not the only person who has been in meetings where only two people talk, and everyone else is either distracted or afraid to speak up. People leave these meetings feeling like they have no voice, and they don’t support the decisions that were made. I’ve also learned that by playing with LEGO® bricks, people can figure out what they think*, and that because LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® levels the playing field, people will share what they think and participate fully. That leads to people supporting the decisions more, trusting each other more, and communicating better.
(*Technical aside: According to Frank R Wilson, author of The Hand: How its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture, human hands and brains evolved at the same time. When we came down from the trees and started walking upright, our hands evolved to do new things, and our brains evolved to allow those things. So now, our hands and our brains have a huge connection. When we use our hands, we access not only both sides of the brain, but different structures throughout our brains. So we really can think with our hands, figuring out what we think as we build. And then, we have an artifact to hold that information, so we don’t have to keep it in our heads, and we can free our minds to think of the next thing and make new connections.)
I believe that bringing play into the adult world of work and responsibility increases ease, happiness, connection, and collaboration, and decreases tension, disagreement, anger, and frustration. People feel free to show up with their whole selves, and to grow into the creative, happy, colorful people they truly are. And an added bonus – people help each other more when they know and understand each other, so they get more work done more efficiently. Better decisions get made when you can utilize the diversity of thinking in your organization. You hired these people for a reason – using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® you can gain access to all that knowledge and creativity they have.
I have been studying play formally and informally all my life. I've helped create a 17th century village through volunteering at a Renaissance Faire. I took a bunch of volunteers there and turned them into a stage show that drew an audience in, because we were having so much fun dancing and singing on stage. I made stuff out of cardboard and tape as a kid (and now I make stuff out of cardboard and tape for other kids). I volunteered as a community mediator for a number of years, helping people come together when they were most at odds. One judge at the small claims court where I volunteered said he would never have come up with such a creative and personalized solution as I helped disputants come up with in mediation. I have taught dance, designed closets, sold skin care and makeup, and worked at a desk for a software company. Every job I've ever had, I've found a way to bring play and fun to it. Everything that has grabbed my interest has had to do with bringing people together and coming up with creative ways for people to live and work together. I now use all my accumulated experience and innate understanding to bring play to the most underserved of play communities - working adults.
I truly believe that people can’t be creative if they are afraid of being judged. If we are going to find creative solutions for our organization’s, or the world’s, problems, we have to be able to play. Play allows people to try out ideas with no fear of failure or judgment, and then bounce the ideas around until they are strong enough to withstand scrutiny. Play is not the opposite of work – it’s work using joy and fun and creativity and connection.