Sanoma Media Finland

Better customer understanding and team cohesiveness with LEGO Serious Play

Sanoma X-Day training event helped Sanoma personnel at large to better understand the importance of customer experiences for business and let them experiment with the power of creativity. The follow-up, story-instilled CX Play sessions allowed the employees of a newly merged business unit to ideate how everyone could, as individuals and on the team level, give their best as part of their technology-driven teams.

The CX Play workshop gave us a really nice boost to kick off our year as a newly established organization and helped people from different teams to get to know each other a bit better. It was also interesting to find out that most teams had the same kind of challenges. Lego Serious Play offered us a fun way for innovating and exploring different solutions to these challenges together. We had an internal wrap up session afterwards to go through the findings, which helped us to create concrete action plans to take the ideas further.
Iiris Lahti
Development director, Data Utilization, Sanoma Media Finland


Sanoma Media Finland (SMF) is the leading Finnish multi-channel media company offering information, experiences and entertainment through publishing newspapers, magazines, tv and radio channels, online and mobile media. Together, SMF reaches 97 % of all Finns weekly.

Helsingin Sanomat is the largest daily newspaper in the Nordics, and Ilta-Sanomat the largest quality tabloid and digital news media in Finland. Sanoma Lifestyle publishes leading magazine contents, whilst Sanoma Kids focuses on contents for children and teenagers. Nelonen Media broadcasts on TV and radio. Sanoma Digital Finland offers online marketplaces.

Previously, Sanoma Media Finland had invited Shirute to help produce the Sanoma X-Day, a training event designated to introduce to Sanoma personnel the importance of customer experiences for business. At this occasion, Shirute gave a keynote speech on the importance of play in business, explaining how LEGO Serious Play can introduce creativity to business development and help fast-track design discussions. We also organised a workshop for everyone to experience how Shirute’s CX Play workshops support CX and EX development in practice.


As a follow-up to their successful X-Day event, Sanoma asked Shirute to design and facilitate an employee experience workshop using CX Play, as they kicked off the work of two newly merged business units specialising in IT, data and analytics. The main goal was to get the team members to discuss and plan how they could, coming from two distinct organisational cultures, work better together. Through this work, SMF also aimed to develop employee experiences to motivate everyone to give their best performance. Altogether, about 80 people joined in on the seriously fun challenges.

To begin with, the participants had to come up with their own Lego models, portraying their previous experiences in team dynamics. After everyone had shared their stories, and each model was properly explained and understood, the work to understand which topic would be most helpful to focus on further collectively within each team began. Together, the teams addressed the biggest challenges they were facing and used their Lego models to join forces so as to create one common model incorporating their shared story. This model represented everything from what they had previously experienced.

Participants also needed to depict the good elements of what makes a great team, as they were challenged to address what would make their team experiences better in the future. In addition, they were asked to share what made employee experiences great in their previous occupations.

Overall, the results were very positive. Given the individuals’ characteristics and backgrounds, the discussions around the Lego models brought together everyone – even those employees, who would usually not openly share their thoughts and ideas with others.

The key takeaways from this CX Play session were:

  • Understanding cultural backgrounds and the different traditional norms that each individual experienced
  • To openly communicate and provide feedback when and where it was needed, but in a way that doesn’t affect everyone’s emotional mood negatively
  • Come together for a general meeting, to discuss the performance levels at the individual and the whole team’s level