LEGO® as a gamechanger in business

A stone for better communication

Jens Dröge visiting Taunusanlage: a conversation about new opportunities in collaboration with LEGO® Serious Play ® and the room as a second facilitator


A method that simultaneously promotes communication, allows structured planning and helps employees to open up emotionally in terms of the work process...does it exist?

There is! And it has an advocate who has dedicated himself heart and soul to this method: the method is called LEGO® Serious Play® and its enthusiastic facilitator is Jens Dröge. Jens is the official trainer for LEGO Serious Play training and author of the three German-language books on LEGO Serious Play, as well as a pioneer for LEGO Serious Play Online.

At Taunusanlage, he was not only a guest to answer all questions about LEGO Serious Play, but also worked with us to develop a special room layout exclusively for the method, consisting of furniture, layout and tools:



Jens: "To exaggerate, you could say: I earn my money by playing LEGO(laughs), although of course you can't talk about "playing" here. Guiding people to develop their creative potential and to participate 100%, that's actually my job."


LEGO® Serious Play® - what is it?

Developed from 1996, LEGO Serious Play combines the benefits of play with business processes. By encouraging the development of new ideas, improving communication and speeding up problem solving through its use, it is used in companies, teams and communication in general.

Through the use of the bricks, which many may still be familiar with from their own childhood, creativity is encouraged; talking about one's own built LEGO models promotes communication; the wealth of knowledge and experience of all participants is taken into account, thus creating a shared knowledge of the topic under discussion.


LEGO® Serious Play® - a communication tool

Jens: "LEGO Serious Play is a tool, the brick is a communication tool. For me, it is first and foremost a tool to break down emotional barriers, to bring about 100% participation. Everyone in such a workshop is asked, is listened to, and there it doesn't matter if it's the board of directors or the warehouse clerk. It's a participatory tool because it's not an opinion amplifier where the alpha dog says, "This is how we do it." In fact, it's a leadership tool to explicitly get strong participation. And it awakens creative potential that lies dormant within us. LEGO Serious Play speaks with intuition, not with the head. And that's why incredibly fantastic and ever-changing results come out of it."

A democratic method that gives all participants an equal share of the vote. Lego Serious Play is used by a whole range of companies from a wide variety of industries: be it in the brand environment, in the boardroom, in large corporations, agencies...Jens can even tell you about an orthodontist among his clients.


No limits for communication

Jens: "I think most companies just never talk about the fact that they also work with LEGO. Yet the method is used in corporations like Deutsche Bahn and Daimler. It also always depends on the question or the objective: is it the right workshop tool? If so, you can use it and you are not limited to one industry. It depends on the issue, and that in particular is incredibly diverse: teams finding themselves anew, personnel selection processes, requirements for managers, employees returning to the office, corporate strategy, responses to times of crisis... ... There really are no limits to what you can do."

What do you actually need for a LEGO Serious Play Workshop? Depending on the objective, LEGO has put together four sets, some of which mix LEGO and DUPLO. In total, the sets contain up to 2631 parts. A distinction is made between the Window Exploration Kit and the Starter Set, which contain basic material and serve primarily to introduce the method, and the Identity Landscape Set and the Connections Set for larger groups and longer, more intensive workshops. That's a lot of material and for that you need above all: space and room.


The room as a co-facilitator

Next to the material, the space is the most important element in a good LEGO Serious Play workshop. The workshops are characterized by a lot of proxemics: the participants are active and move through the space. It must be possible to store the material, and there must be surfaces on which to build and assemble models.

Jens: "Space is not to be underestimated in LEGO Serious Play. When I have a physical workshop, a few things are very important to me. One is the room itself: it has to be bright, it has to be friendly, it has to have space. A bad room can ruin the workshop, can have a negative impact on the workshop. A good room supports the workshop, it is unobtrusive and not intrusive. For example, there are workshop rooms that are called 'cozy workshop spaces': the dominant element here is the room itself. Of course, you're impressed at first. But the room is not in the foreground here. What needs to sit is the moderation, and the room can help with that. The room supports through friendliness, through different work areas, through tables that are flexible, that can be put together modularly. Which are already prepared. I have different areas: the seating area where I work, I have my buffet where the stones are set up. People can move freely without anything falling down, without it piling up. I have my area where I can go without any fuss, without any remodeling, and continue working on what I call my shared model."

Take breaks when they are needed

High flexibility is important for Jens, also with regard to the arrangement of breaks. It is important here to retain "design sovereignty" over timing, structure and breaks:

"Having break rooms is a co-creative element in the workshop. If I notice that the participants' energy levels are dropping, then I can flexibly send people out for breaks. Of course, it's important not to depend on a caterer or staff to schedule coffee breaks in advance. If I need a few extra minutes, then I have to get a few extra minutes. If I'm faster, I need to be able to take a break a few minutes earlier. The space needs to provide that: to be flexible to my needs."


The room as a safe place

In LEGO Serious Play, results are achieved quickly. This is possible, among other things, because the participants also get emotionally involved in the process. Does Jens have a certain atmosphere, a certain mood that he wants to achieve for his workshops and that supports the participants in this?

Jens: "In a workshop with me, the participants should always feel comfortable. I create this feel-good atmosphere through good moderation and clarification of the task, but also through the possibilities of the room. In today's times, it is also important to keep your distance and still be able to move around. If it is dark, gloomy, there is no good atmosphere. It has to be bright, it has to be friendly. The temperature has to be right. You have to be able to drink coffee if you want to, and have a selection of different drinks. There has to be a feel-good atmosphere, a safe space. And that's what I want to achieve, because then a space can support."

Many requirements, but they ensure that the participants feel safe and get results in the end. How does Jens find his rooms, which ones does he use?

Jens: "When I'm in Frankfurt or Zurich, I like to use the rooms here( Taunusanlage, Europaallee, editor's note) because they have exactly what I want. An unobtrusive space, bright and friendly and still flexibly adaptable. And not this over-dominance, which is why I really like being here. In addition, the rooms are already equipped with the appropriate material, so I can arrive immediately and focus on the workshop. The bistro area allows us to stay in the room, even during breaks, which keeps the workflow up. They are centrally located, easily accessible from every station. And that's why I like being here; otherwise it's always quite hard to find good spaces, I would say."


Part of our Expert Community: not without reason

How many hours he has already spent in LEGO Serious Play workshops? Hard for Jens to say: "I can't count that. I've been doing this for over six years. I've trained more than 400 people in the method, for example, and I've certainly had just as many people in workshops. I can't tell you how many hours, but it's quite a few.(Laughs) I would consider myself very experienced in this field, some call me an expert."

He also makes this expertise available to us; exclusively for LEGO Serious Play, Jens has worked with us to design a room layout so that the space can meet all the requirements of such a workshop.

If you would also like to host a LEGO Serious Play workshop with Jens Dröge or if you are interested in the method, please visit us on our website Jens is part of our Expert Community; we are happy to arrange contact and a personal meeting.

Jens, thank you very much for your visit and the interesting conversation!

03.05.2021 | Reading time: approx. 1 min.

"New Work" - new podcast episode with memox

In the Frankfurt Convention Bureau podcast "MICE am Main", Katharina Path talks to Kersten Riechers from Quäntchen+Glück and our CEO Dr. Dirk Reiner about New Work and its influence on the event industry.

One year of Corona has changed a lot: how can collaboration be adapted to the new framework, what remains, what becomes obsolete?

What opportunities lie in accelerated digitization and innovative new formats?

Many questions and exciting answers, tips and learnings in the episode "New Work":

02.02.2021 | Reading time: approx. 5 min.

Flexible space for
more innovation

Meetings and workshops at memox are special - especially productive and especially creative. Teams from a wide variety of companies and industries regularly leave the locations with the feeling that they have achieved their goals and optimally used and strengthened their own innovative power.

This experience has led many of the companies we work with to consider our Corporate Solution. From individual meeting rooms to entire conference floors in flexible use with contingents in our memox locations.

Almost three years ago, the first memox rooms were set up in various companies and educational institutions, and we asked ourselves the following questions as the year drew to a close:

  • What impact did the space have on team collaboration in the long term?
  • What impact(s) does memox have on the results achieved in meetings and workshops?
  • And - would the decision for a memox room be made the same way again?

Our first stop: the Centre Löwenberg of the SBB

On a tour through Switzerland with stops in Zurich, Bern and Basel, we visited innovative companies that have taken the step of using memox to offer their employees a special learning and event environment.

One stop on our trip was the Centre Löwenberg of the SBB in Murten. The seminar and conference center of the Swiss Federal Railways is located on the Löwenberg Castle estate and offers an interesting field of tension with its architecture on the impressive grounds. Two years ago, the first memox room was set up in the Centre, under the leadership of Thomas Aebischer, the head of the SBB education centers.

Man - Technology - Organization

"It all happened very quickly. I was convinced of the concept and I conveyed this conviction. Of course it took energy, but I took the time to present the concept to my employees and the trainers at the kick-offs, and that was time well spent. So for me, it wasn't tedious at all; on the contrary, it was a pleasure. I am convinced of the product and it works. It was the right way to go."

For Thomas, a factor in the room's success is how it fits into the educational center's working philosophy: people - technology - organization:

"The triangle of people, technology and organization simply has to be right. You also have to get people fit. It's no use just putting a technology in the room and leaving people alone with it. The room has to be aligned with the event and the setting of the educational event, or vice versa. We have the critical size that, fortunately, we have a dedicated culture and leadership area with excellent facilitators to support us internally."

Skepticism at the beginning - then enthusiasm without end

The Centre Löwenberg now has two rooms equipped with memox products that follow the processes of the Collaboration Intelligence & Operating System (CIOS) in their setup and use: they can be quickly converted and adapted, the furniture and room layout support workshop participants in achieving their objectives, and the rooms can be used for different formats. We asked Thomas what the feedback was on the space and whether there were any critical voices. Did people feel comfortable in the room or were they overwhelmed?

"The participants felt comfortable, and in my opinion no one was overwhelmed. But yes, there were definitely critical voices; however, less from the participants than from the moderators. They now have to set up the room themselves together with the participants instead of ordering specific seating. But this criticism only lasted until they did it themselves for the first time, then it was off the table.

The initial skepticism - which there is with everything that is new - was there, but only for a very short time. I can remember the first workshop I did here. People saw from the outside that there was something different, and that alone had a positive influence on the workshop. Encountering something different than expected turned out to be a good tune-up for the sequence. No one wants the classic plenary seating in this room - but would still be feasible, of course."

Pioneer with charisma - further rooms in Zurich, Olten, Bern, Bellinzona and Lausanne

In the meantime, the Corporate Solution has not only been implemented at the Centre Löwenberg; the training centers in Zurich, Olten and Bern have already set up rooms and use them for internal workshops; Lausanne and Bellinzona will follow. How did it come about?

"In Zurich, Olten and Bern, I was on site and was able to explain the concept and the space. Then word got around until Lausanne and Bellinzona also said: we want a space like that, too. It was great to experience this development. I have been following this story for three years now - from the initial skepticism, where I had to "push" people a bit, to today, where I sometimes have to put the brakes on them. But that's how I prefer it: I'd rather brake than push. And it happened the same way with these spaces."

Innovation, yes please! But how?

"I never have to make a profitability calculation to the Executive Committee because they like working in the space themselves and like coming here. But of course, you can't leave people who are coming into the room for the first time completely alone. There are presenters who can handle it, but others are overwhelmed by it. Therefore, if I can arrange it and someone is here for the first time, I do a short intro and that's how it works very well. There is also support in writing if someone wants to read up on it. In the end, though, it's always: I want to be in this room. Because the demand is extremely high, we have now purchased additional furniture, so we can even quickly turn a traditional room into a memox room.

Into the future with memox

Could Thomas observe any changes in terms of collaboration or results from using the memox space?

"The changes show up more in the course events than at the finish line. Someone who has been in here wants to come back again and again because they know: I can work here. And then I did a small survey on a pilot basis, with trainees, facilitators, everyone who used the room: did this setting, this room make a positive contribution to achieving the goal, and 80% said: yes."

The Centre Löwenberg has a total of 30 rooms, including the rooms in the castle. In the meantime, there is also a mobile facility that can be used to set up a third memox room spontaneously when demand is high.

"In 2021, the Centre will be completely refurbished and modernized. I strongly expect that in 2022/2023 the proportion of such rooms, as opposed to traditionally furnished ones, will tend to increase."

That means you would make the same decision again for the memox room?

"Absolutely. It's really different, you come in here and it' It's creative, it's motivating, it's different. That's the best proof for me. It would be bad if the room was empty all the time. But the opposite is the case.

(laughs) And that, of course, is a satisfaction for me!"

11.05.2020 | Reading time: approx. 3 min.

memox enables secure meetings &
Workshops during Corona

Legal but a great responsibility.

COVID-19 has changed everyday working life. Real contact has been drastically reduced. Public and private meetings are regulated by authorities, but business meetings are possible - both within and across companies. Numerous meetings have been postponed or transferred to the digital world.

Limits of virtual communication became clear.

Video conferencing has many advantages and has often saved us through these difficult times. But what has also become apparent is that there is often no substitute for effective face-to-face communication. "face-to-face communication is 34x more successful than digital communication" (Harvard Business Review, Vanessa Bohns).

Virtual meetings do not have the same outcome as face-to-face interaction, as numerous CEOs confirm in conversation (Northstarmeetingsgroup). Trust is not formed via video conferences, but it is a key factor in their success. Formats that focus on the development of content experience significant productivity losses in the virtual. This is particularly evident in agile formats (e.g., design thinking, software development...).

Solution required for secure face-to-face communication.

We will have to coexist with the coronavirus for quite some time. For this reason, solutions must be found to make meetings, workshops, training and education safe.

Meetings & workshops are not a restaurant visit.

The objective was to develop a Corona protection concept that honors the special features of meetings & workshops.

  • In the restaurant, you have a fixed seat, the glass is right in front of you. In interactive workshops, you move around the room.
  • In the supermarket, you have to concentrate for 10 minutes. In a workshop lasting several hours, a target can quickly be forgotten in the "heat of the moment".
  • At the desk, everyone has their own pen. The whiteboard marker in the meeting is usually shared.
  • ...

memox.saftey - a protection concept for meetings & workshops.

memox's core competence is to positively influence work flows and participant behavior via the data-driven configuration of room setups as well as the selection and provision of equipment. memox has used this know-how to develop a comprehensive protection concept for meetings, workshops, training and education based on the recommendations of institutes (e.g. Robert Koch Institute) as well as government agencies (e.g. BAG).

memox.saftey includes measures in five areas that enable safe collaboration. The residual risk is probably even significantly lower than a visit to the supermarket or a ride on public transport.

1. change processes, organization and behavior.
This category includes measures that lead to procedural and behavioral changes. provides for more frequent posting of distance notices (magnetic stickers, labels, floor lettering) and behavioral recommendations oriented to the work process than is common in other industries. Likewise, recommendations are given for dealing with risk groups, subgroups in breakouts, and collaboration on whiteboard or flipchart.

2. adapt equipment, equipment and tools
With regard to the equipment of meeting and workshop rooms, and especially the use of various tools and aids, numerous adjustments are made. The provision of personal equipment such as whiteboard markers is particularly important. Surfaces that are difficult to disinfect in critical areas must be removed. We are now familiar with disinfection stations in all areas, and the memox Corona concept provides this at the workgroup and individual level, depending on the format. Likewise, face masks are provided, which can also be used depending on the situation, for example, if there is a lot of movement in the room.

3. reconfiguring room layouts and setups
Room layouts and setups were adjusted so that the distance recommendations can be adhered to and are not immediately forgotten even when there is movement in the room. Specific measures range from placeholder "I stay clear" signs to a new arrangement of chairs and tables. Likewise, seating options (e.g., bar stools or Cubehocker) are used specifically to reduce unconscious movement in standing formats.

4. revise beverage and food offer
In meetings and workshops, it is very common to consume food while working. A new perspective on this arises from the movement in the room. Whereas it is usual to consume from cups and glasses, we currently recommend small bottles (ideally even resealable). The contact surface between mouth and vessel is thus covered before opening by the screw cap or crown cork. We also offer cups with lids as an alternative to the cup and the possibility of labeling them with one's own name to avoid confusion. Food is only offered individually packaged. The lunch conversation should take place after and not during the meal.

5. intensify hygiene and cleaning measures
In addition to providing disinfection facilities (see point 2), cleaning intervals have been increased and the scope of cleaning maximized. Special focus is placed on surfaces that are touched by numerous people, e.g. door handles, light switches, remote controls, coffee machines, refrigerator handles, etc.

It can start again!

At we provide a more detailed insight into the recommended and implemented measures, and the safety poster developed specifically for the Meetings & Workshops sector can also be downloaded free of charge. We are happy to support and provide further materials as well as our know-how.

Our Meeting Spaces in Frankfurt and Zurich are available to you again. All measures are also part of the corporate solutions - whether operator model or room equipment.

Our goal - secure meetings for every company and team.