The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology
Research shows that when we use our hands in a strategic or creative process, we express our thoughts and ideas more precisely and with greater nuance. This means that they become easier to understand and more memorable – which creates a more effective dialogue, more realizations, and a better result. The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method facilitates creativity and innovation.
What is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) is a creative tool that can be used in almost any development process, whether it is for organizational development, strategic development or team development.
LSP is a scientifically solid method developed during the 1990s by management professors Johan S. Roos and Bart Victor. LSP utilizes the diversity of the LEGO® brick. As a result, the LEGO® elements function as three-dimensional models of business issues and challenges. Through narratives and constructions, LSP manages to improve mutual understanding, and it becomes easier to play out different scenarios and test different options.
The aim of LSP is to create a more imaginative and effective way for leaders to develop more innovative strategies, build strong teams and to deal with difficult challenges. By “thinking with your hands” and through serious play with LEGO® bricks, you cultivate your creativity and innovative capabilities.
LSP is a process tool that creates involvement, dynamic, and energy in innovative processes through creativity and dialogue. By using three-dimensional LEGO® models, realistic scenarios that visualize challenges and opportunities are created. This provides an entirely new perspective on your company and the world around it.
We can test your reality and identify valuable solutions that can be implemented immediately. At the same time, the process will encourage knowledge-sharing, engagement and inspiration – thus reinforcing your ability to accomplish new tasks together!
Complexity is reduced and valuable knowledge is shared. LSP makes it easier and more constructive to handle the challenges that organizations and companies are faced with, as the issues are “brought to the table” via LEGO® models, and thereby made more concrete, constructive and easier to work with.
LSP, furthermore, makes it possible to be fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process (to be in “flow”), which greatly enhance both the effectiveness and pleasure of the development process. Additionally, the LSP tool is relevant, involving and effective no matter if you are 4 participants or 200 participants.
How does it work?
LSP is far from just being fun and games using a pile of LEGO®. The theoretical framework behind LSP is extensive and solid. At the core of the methodology are theoretical concepts, models and tools from the fields of behavioral science, systems theory and theories of how we know and learn.
With skillful facilitation, LSP can help participants see the challenges in new ways and develop entirely new knowledge of their challenges and opportunities together. The following steps are used in most LSP processes:
- Ask a question.
- Build and give meaning to a LEGO® model.
- Tell and share a story about the LEGO® model.
- Ask questions and reflect.
- Extract insights and action points.
It does not matter whether the participants are skilled in LEGO® building or not, as the LEGO® bricks are just the means and not the end. Metaphorical reasoning, speaking through objects and story sharing are the real drivers promoting an open, unprejudiced and responsible dialogue. The result is new and creative solutions regarding the challenges that your company, organization or team is facing.
Who can use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?
We have all experienced boring and inefficient workshops, retreats and away-days, where only a small fraction of the participants actively engage in the process. LSP is a way to activate and engage people in exciting and effective processes where all participants contribute to and take responsibility for the outcome. All participants build models with their hands, create metaphors and engage in story telling. This creative approach increases shared insight and promotes deep and effective understanding, which becomes the basis for innovative solutions to challenges.
LSP engages all people no matter which educational background or experience they might have, which is why the tool is relevant for both leadership teams, departments, groups of employees, boards and so on.
Examples on how to use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
Inthrface has run more than 850 LSP workshops around world during the last decade, and we have, thereby, handled a vast variety of development processes. Our experience tells us that if you want to conduct a creative, stimulating and effective development process in your organization or company, the LSP tool is a very effective choice.
Inthrface is currently running a lot of workshops with leadership and employee teams, who want to try out the LSP tool and additionally focus on a specific challenge within their team. This challenge could for example be to analyze and find solutions for an issue related to collaboration, culture, leadership or the values of the team. Such a workshop could be completed within just four hours, but a more extensive team development process would take several days to complete. Read more about LSP for team development here.
LSP is also an efficient tool to construct a new strategy for an entire company or for parts of an organization. LEGO® is used to build a common baseline for the organization or company, as well as to clarify visions for the future. Through models, metaphors and stories new strategies and goals are agreed upon and made operational right there on the table. Read more about LSP for strategy development here.
Modern organizations and companies are increasingly being challenged on how to be open, cooperative and effective. Through LSP we analyze the present organizational strengths and challenges as well as the context surrounding the organization or company. This makes it possible to build a frame and some concrete elements of the future organization or company in a very tangible a visible way.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is the process tool for dynamic organizations
At Inthrface we are experienced process consultants. We use a variety of process tools to help people promote valuable and effective development processes. We increasingly meet process demands regarding involvement, ownership and innovation. These demands are difficult to meet with traditional process tools, which is why people are searching for alternatives. Our experience is that many customers who have tried the LSP tool feel that this method have been exactly the new tool they needed, because it is able to raise their development processes to new levels and increase the value creation significantly.
“We believe that using LEGO® as a tool to express oneself is a great concept. The method brought people to a common platform and greatly enhanced articulation of thoughts in a creative way”
Murali Iyer, CEO, Torm Shipping, India.
What to do next?
If you would like to try out the LSP tool in your own organization or company please contact us for further information via email or over the phone: +45 70222664. You can also get more information about our LSP workshops here.
You can also become a trained facilitator in the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology yourself which will enable you to facilitate LSP development processes in your own organization or company. Inthrface is running several all-inclusive courses at LEGOLAND® resorts around the world. You can read more about our facilitator courses here,or contact us directly via email.