Building a perfect Intranet using lego blocks

Which Intranet manager has not been dreaming at least once to build a perfect Intranet in 20 seconds? you’ll see at the end of this post that my son was able to! 😉

Did I say building a perfect Intranet using lego blocks?

It all started from our willingness to engage our audience in helping us build our new Intranet. We wanted the end result to be something concrete, not just words. We decided to use legos of different colours to represent the building blocks of an Intranet and asked our audience to build their perfect Intranet.

Our Intranet building blocks:

  • Content
  • Collaboration
  • Social
  • Activity (or ‘task based tools’)
  • News and Events

The results were surprising. Whereas we might have thought that ‘social’ and ‘activity’ were what people would want to see on the new Intranet, the results showed that our audience wanted mostly ‘content’ (38.3%), then ‘social’ (19.7%), ‘collaboration’ (17.2%), ‘news & events’ (16%) and finally ‘activity’ (8.8%).

Some examples of the resulting Intranets built using legos:

I conducted a similar exercise with Intranet Managers from one of the JBoye groups. The results were different and their focus went into ensuring that their Intranet doesn’t fall apart and is well integrated.

Far from being a scientific exercise, the outcomes showed nevertheless that:

  • ‘content’ always seems to be the base on which other parts are added
  • ‘news’ is still the entry door
  • ‘activity’ is an ‘enabler’
  • ‘collaboration’ is intertwined with ‘social’
  • and the ‘social’ dimension is often considered to be the ‘glue’ that holds it all together

It’s a fun exercise that will help you

  • engage with you audience (sometimes in very funny and constructive way)
  • get direct feedback
  • better explain what constitutes an Intranet
  • raise awareness about your future plans

I recently read this quote from a Toronto Customer of Intranet Connections (101 Intranet Ideas):

“The Intranet is not something that’s made out of stone, it’s made out of lego”

The building exercise we’ve conducted seems to confirm this!

Here is your challenge for this summer: can you build a perfect Intranet in 20 seconds? 🙂

See how my son was able to:

PS: Update July 2013: @reklov drew my attention to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, a concept that confirms the possibility to use Lego for business purposes.

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About ernstdecsey

Passionate about the digital workplace (defined as the sum of collaboration, social media and the Intranet). The postings on this site are my own.
This entry was posted in digital workplace, intranet and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Building a perfect Intranet using lego blocks

  1. EDIII says:

    Great !!! Splendid !!! Get LEGO financing !!!

  2. I love the Lego activity – it activates both the left and right sides of the brain – and is bound to be a hit with staff. I especially appreciate the insights you’ve gleaned from doing the activity with employees and intranet managers. You’ve proven again that good content is the foundation on which an intranet is built. Having outdated, irrelevant content is like building an intranet on sand.

  3. Mike P says:

    Great article, thank you Ernst.

  4. Simon T says:

    This is simply an excellent idea for user engagement and feedback. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: An Intranet is actually LEGO | Intranetmania's blog

  6. Phil Edwards says:

    Great post Ernst. Simple approach and so effective. just goes to show that the best way is always the simplest. have referenced it in my recent blog post: http://intranetmania.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/an-intranet-is-actually-lego/

    • ernstdecsey says:

      Thanks a lot Phil. I agree, simple and practical ideas are sometimes the best. Curious to know if anyone has tried this lego approach as well?

      • Phil Edwards says:

        Not that I’m aware of. Sometimes people don’t see that simple is the way to go. I’m not a great believer in survey hundreds of users in a “scientific” way, when a small sample done simply and straightforwardly, realises the same results. Usually enough to make a decision as to how to proceed.

  7. This is a brilliant approach. Would it be okay to borrow it?

  8. Pingback: Inspirations from KMWorld 2014 | digitalworkplace

  9. Pingback: Progettare le intranet con i lego | Intranet Management

  10. Pingback: #ioms17 TechEdition: Ernst Décsey about Rethinking Intranet in Office 365 - Enterprise Digital Blog

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