LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

We love LEGO®, we love building the retail kits, they also have known therapeutic benefits (left brain right brain stuff) and help with mindfulness and being focused and present. But the bricks are where the link to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® ends. We don’t build things, we build metaphors, we build representations of problems, solutions, identities, environments, structures, supporters and derailers.

So do not dismiss this as just playing with children's toys.  Think of it as the powerful solution to complex three dimensional problem solving that it is. This is the methodology developed by LEGO® themselves at a time when the future of its business was uncertain and they needed a strategic process that would guide them based on sound practical, academic, and neuroscientific foundations. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was developed to meet this need and the LEGO Group are now the global success story we see today. Read on to see quite how powerful it can be in a complex organisational situation.

 

To fully benefit from the insight, ideas and imagination available in your organisation, the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology taps into the human ability to imagine – to describe and make sense of the business at hand, to initiate change and improvement, and even to create something radically new and to benefit from our human design of seeing and working better in 3D. Check out this article in the Psychologist.

 

WHY.

  • We are designed to work in 3D, not in 2D which is the normal organisation default of attempting to build 2D solutions on flipcharts to 3D problems such as strategies or structures

  • The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology is a facilitated technique which unlocks the potential of all the participants in the workshop

  • At its core, it is about solving complex issues by building models using LEGO bricks. The metaphors in the models serve as the basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing and problem solving and help foster creative thinking and finding unique solutions

  • The methodology is based on a robust set of theories originally developed by the LEGO Group

  • All facilitated LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshops are group processes and designed around a relatively limited number of powerful core concepts. These conceptual modules can be configured in multiple ways to best meet your needs. A workshop based on the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® materials and methodology varies in the number of participants and duration depending on the topic. Usually one full-day session is effective.  Short sessions last 3-4 hours. The longest sessions may extend to three days

  • Organisations, whether private or public, use the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology when they want to unlock the full potential of their employees – and to encourage everyone to participate, contribute and commit to the solution Typically, workshops focus on challenging issues or developing strategies

 

WHEN.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® materials and methodology are effective when there is more than one possible right answer, and when the organisation wants to harness all available knowledge in the team in order not only to find the best possible solution but also to get the strongest possible commitment.

 

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® materials and methodology are particularly effective when:

 

  • The subject is complex and multifaceted and there is a need to grasp the bigger picture, find connections and explore options and potential solutions

  • It is important to reach decisions which everyone commits to and honours after the meeting even though he or she does not agree 100%

  • Asking each team member or participant the same question results in substantially different answers

  • Everyone in the group has an interest or stake in what is on the agenda

  • It is important that everyone participates in the discussions and contributes with his or her knowledge and opinions

  • You want to increase team understanding and at the same time avoid frustration

  • You want to use the time efficiently

  • There are no obvious answers

  • You would like to gain new learning, insights and new ways of thinking

  • You want to deal with tough and complex issues in a constructive atmosphere

  • It is vital that participants speak their true feelings without intimidating anyone or being intimidated

  • You have a situation in which a few members tend to dominate the discussions and you want to break that routine without offending anyone

  • You have a group which feels meetings tend to be a waste of time

  • You want to create a level playing field for discussion

  • Your meetings or learning events tend to focus more on the messengers than on the messages

  • You want to avoid excuses or lack of initiative after the meeting

  • There’s a risk participants feel they were not heard or involved in the decision

  • You want to ensure that all participants share a common understanding and frame of reference

Probably one of the most powerful tools and methodologies available for any individual, team or organisation.