David Lannoy September 7, 2020

Learning innovation to increase risk culture

The story of our Excellence in Learning Award


A global Pharmaceutical company wanted to increase awareness and implementation of their risk management framework by involving their key staff in an engaging training experience.

We have observed the following challenges:

- Low level of engagement of the employees during Risk Management sessions
- Risk Management is perceived as too theoretical and hard to grasp
- Training sessions are too often sanctioned by poor quality feedback

The risk management function relies on these training sessions to act as “sensors” in the company. Active participation from the audience is key. The Chapelle team has specifically designed a version of the LEGO Serious Play method that fits in a risk management context.

The objective of using LEGO Serious Play was to overcome these challenges by:

- creating interactive experience where participants are leaning in and contributing at the same time;

- building an atmosphere where participants feel comfortable to “unlock” their potential and creative ideas;

- providing an active environment of “co-creation” learning and practice, where participants can contribute with surprising insights and innovative suggestions.

Results from the feedback surveys conducted after each learning session highlighted the positive impact of this innovative learning approach on several dimensions: participants involvement, co-creation, discovery and curiosity, and increase motivation and positive attitude during the training sessions.

Listed below are the statements that received 100% of “agree” and “strongly agree” scores with a very low level of standard deviation, confirming the adherence of the participants:

Participants involvement:

  • Inspires me to maintain my standards of performance
  • Makes me strive to take the next level
  • Pressures me in a positive way by its high demands
  • Makes me feel like I am socially involved

Co-creation and discovery/curiosity:

  • Gives me a feeling of being connected to others
  • Makes me feel like I discover new things
  • Makes me feel like I’m developing something
  • Appeals to my curiosity
  • Taps into my imagination
  • Makes me feel that I can be creative
  • Gives me the feeling that I explore things

Attention and focus:

  • Motivates me to progress and get better
  • Grabs all my attention

As reflected by the survey results, the experience was positively rated in participants’ involvement, co-creation and creativity, and attention and focus.

The workshop proved to be truly successful in making the participants fully express themselves, allowing them to come up with a more creative and comprehensive list of risks and opportunities, compared to what happens during regular risk identification sessions. This is an essential element for risk management, as it gives broader insights on how to mitigate risks and exploit opportunities.

Moreover, the true social dimension of the learning experience fostered team unity. It made the participants understand that their success depends on their collective cooperation. The ultimate effect was to drive discussions away from time-consuming and unproductive comments and, rather, focusing on reaching a common goal.

Conducting a risk and opportunity identification learning session, using a tailored version of LEGO Serious Play has been instrumental in getting participants to appreciate the applicability of risk management as well as the benefits of having a forward-looking approach to risk and opportunities. The link between risk management and the participants’ daily work is of paramount importance for the company. Not only, it kept them engaged during the sessions, but it also made them receptive and positive about the follow-up activities, such as risk evaluation and response planning. In this context, the approach designed by Chapelle for the identification of risks and opportunities laid the groundwork to deploy a constructive risk management culture across the company.