Curiosity, creativity and imagination are top of mind for the LEGO Group.
The Danish toy giant uniquely sees children as its role models.
Speaking exclusively to UNLEASH, Margarita Echeverria, global talent management director at the LEGO Group, shares: “We are truly inspired by how actively involved children are when they approach learning, [as well as] how curious and creative they can be.”
This creates a working environment where everyone is encouraged to “dream big and invite others to dream with them”, Echeverria adds.
The employer really embraces the power of play – especially when thinking about learning and development.
“We believe that people learn best when they’re playful and positively engaged”, notes Echeverria.
This explains why, once a year, the LEGO Group hosts a Play Day Event where employees dedicate a whole day to play.
Not only does this really bond the teams, but it helps to develop “valuable skills, like problem-solving, collaboration and resilience”.
This, in turn, nurtures curiosity and desire to learn in employees, to be creative, and have a playful approach to their work at the LEGO Group.
Thinking outside the toy box with talent development
The LEGO Group’s adoption of playful learning is not the only way the Danish toy giant is really moving the needle, and doing something unique, around talent management.
Echeverria is just nine months into her employment at the LEGO Group.
She tells UNLEASH that as a new joiner, she was really impressed by the company’s alternative perspective to leadership.
For the LEGO Group, leadership is not a position, it is for everyone; it “is about a mindset, not a title”.
“We believe that talent can be found at any level of the organization,” notes Echeverria. “We can all make a difference in our everyday work, and demonstrate leadership on a day-to-day basis, even if you are not a formal people leader.”
The aim is to create a safe space for everyone to succeed, focused around three leadership behaviors needed at the LEGO Group –– be brave, be curious, and be focused.
These are the primary focus of the LEGO Group’s Leadership Playground framework.
For the HR team, the Leadership Playground “guides our work constantly”. “It helps us shape what the talent development experience should be”, shares Echeverria.
Cultivating emerging talent at the LEGO Group
Ultimately, at the LEGO Group, the focus is not on “nurturing the few” at the executive level.
Instead, the Danish employer is also committed to investing in its emerging talent.
“Emerging talent does not mean entry-level for us”.
Rather, it is “a group of individuals that are currently excelling at their work with the support of the senior leadership team, [and] who are carrying out critical responsibilities and are admired for how they work and the contributions they make”, explains Echeverria.
There is a “a conscious effort to maximize the impact of many employees outside the executive level that are showing talent through the execution of our business priorities”.
The idea is not only to focus on retention or individual career paths, but on “potentializing the impact of an entire group of individuals” on the business.
Echeverria continues: “Our aim…is to expand skill sets by building bridges across organizational silos, not only through knowledge sharing but also through the cultivation of the mindset and behaviors that nurture collaboration across diverse functional areas.”
Ultimately, “the organization needs different kinds of experiences and expertise to get the job done”.
Yes, the cross-pollination of skills and enterprise knowledge by bringing a cross-functional group together to learn, develop, and connect is key to success at the LEGO Group.
But, for Echeverria, another important element is co-creating the learning experience with employees.
The HR team is always listening to feedback, and ensures that the emerging talent “is helping us shape the learning journey that they need to navigate the workplace and the business challenges”.
Looking to the future, the LEGO Group is focused on gathering “further and better data about the development needs” of talented employees to ensure that our efforts to grow our talent remains hyper relevant.
Learning and skills at UNLEASH World
Want to learn more about the LEGO Group’s unique approach to talent development? Margarita Echeverria will be sharing more on stage at UNLEASH World 2023.
She is really excited to connect with her HR peers – “particularly, I am very interested in the amazing range of sessions about the impact of AI in HR. I would like to learn more about how AI is reshaping what we do and the challenges and benefits that is creating for our HR community”.
Don’t worry, it is NOT too late to grab your ticket for the Paris show!
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