Reunited at last!
Recently, the whole of our Mission to Seafarers International Headquarters team met together physically for the first time in more than 18 months. It was great to see each other once again, to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. We were able to celebrate much that has been achieved in such challenging circumstances, reflect on what we have learnt and look forward to what lies ahead in our somewhat changed world. We spent some time considering our new strategy. We began thinking about the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) agenda that lies ahead of so many of us in the months and years to come. What will that mean for the shipping industry? What will that mean for us? Much more to follow on this one!
Very memorably, however, on our second day, we played with LEGO! I loved playing with LEGO as a child. I still love playing with LEGO – and thankfully have a number of grandchildren who give me the excuse! It turns out LEGO Serious Play is a thing! It really is. Divided into groups with a huge pile of LEGO on each of our tables, our facilitator took us through a whole series of exercises. We made models to say something about ourselves and our respective “COVID” experiences. We shared stories within our groups, explaining our models and using them to tell some deeply personal stories. After coffee, we focused on the revised Mission values that are embedded in our new strategy: Pioneering, Inclusive, Collaborative, United, Accountable, Caring. We each took one of those values and made a model to explain our understanding of it, later explaining it to our colleagues.
Finally, as a group we tried to build a model incorporating all those values. Organisational values often remain rather hidden, in a document or stuck on some remote wall. This was one way of bringing them into the light of day and getting us to really think through what they might mean, for the London team, for our global community. We are proud of them, not least of the “pioneering” commitment which underpins our determination to be creative and entrepreneurial as we build our ministry into a fast-changing future. I recommend LEGO Serious Play to you all as a way of exploring values, ideas, and plans. And as a way of exploring ourselves, and sharing with others.
The very last thing we did was to make a LEGO model as a gift for one other nominated person in our group, saying something about their quality and value. I have mine in front of me, complete with one of those little white pieces in place of a dog collar! I am now even more indebted to LEGO. Pioneering, Inclusive, Collaborative, United, Accountable, Caring. We hope these values will truly be central to all that we do. Please hold us accountable for them.
In friendship as ever.