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Research is like Lego building without the instructions!

Someone asked me the other day, “How is your research getting on?”

Sounded like a trick question at first and then I had this visual image turn up and so I explained it to them like this.

Lego building with out instructions

“Do you like Lego?” I asked.


“Well, imagine this. Someone gives you a large box full of it, and it has this picture of an amazing “thing” built out of Lego. So, you excitedly open the box to find that all the Lego is just in a large mixed-up pile. Nothing is sorted into any kind of category. So, you look at it and you wonder, do I first start by sorting them all out, or do I just start building stuff. You spend a couple of days ruffling round in the box, clipping pieces together just for fun. Every now and then you find a piece so interesting that you play with it for way to long. It looks so nice you decide not to break it back down and you place it in a nice little corner.

Then you think to yourself, surely this comes with instructions, let’s dig a little into the box. Sure enough, down the bottom of the box is a little book. Gleefully you pull it up, open up the pages only to find, they are all blank and the only instructions you have are to “make instructions as you go”.

So far, I have built a red wall a couple of stories high, a green box, something that looks like a blue chair, and I have stood back and pondered, do I even need a red wall? ……. So, I have decided to start sorting all the different pieces into categories and colors. Once I have that sorted, maybe I will have a better idea of what the product might just look like…… maybe……”

Lego bricks aside, the journey has been seriously interesting. I have found my way into readings around Philosophy, Neuroscience, Art-based research, Art as research, Portraits, and People, Empathy (in way more forms than I thought about), and emotional connections. I’m figuring out how they are all connected and wondering how I position my question in all this literature.

Am I having fun, yes I am actually!

In the last month, I have found my way onto the University Sustainability research group, and we are even pondering how to initiate an Art show of some kind where we can visually connect the community to thinking about things differently. I have participated in the 3-minute thesis competition, been a judge in the MBA “Dragons Den” heats, and made friends with students from all around the world.

Life on Campus is proving to be really interesting and fun, almost like building a Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon without instructions….


Cheryl Gush.jpg

I'm Cheryl

I am embarking on a journey to explore how art can inform better leadership learning and perhaps even help us shift the dial on things that can really make a difference in business

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