What LEGO Serious Play is — and what it is not!
Recently I had a chat with a colleague about using LEGO® in training and workshops, and what the heck, is this LEGO® Serious Play thing all about.
Here is what I responded.
Talking about doing management training or running workshops with LEGO®, people always gape at me puzzled with a weird look.
"Are you kidding...? LEGO in a serious business environment...? This can work as ice breakers or in a learning context only."
For sure, LEGO® bricks are quite perfect for learning experiences and to show the stuff to be learned right on the hands — take this words literally.
Sure, LEGO® bricks are a great tool to break the ice and shyness between people, and to start their engagement.
But this is NOT LEGO Serious Play!
LEGO® Serious Play is not...
- a format for training people. A LEGO® Serious Play workshop does not deliver any learning content. Thus, do not integrate it in your class-room or training environment to teach something.
- a format of "self-experience" for oneself. Sure, to each LEGO® Serious Play workshop you can add a reflection part to debrief the workshop. But this is not the prime focus and main intention of LEGO® Serious Play.
- a fun and playful "business constellation exercise". A lof LEGO® Serious Play workshop model organisational dependencies. However, you can run a workshop without visualising any business landscaping.
- a quick-gamer for your workshops. You can't do a LEGO® Serious Play workshop under 30 min. To gain profound and working achievements, you have to have to spend at least 1 hour. And within 1 hour, you can grasp "easy and fast understandable issues" only.
LEGO® Serious Play is...
A facilitated method for strategic decision-making and problem resolution tool (in business environments).
LEGO® Serious Play is...
- a format to align workshop situations always to business goals;
- a workshop method to deliver results to be used directly next day at the work floor immediately;
- a format where participants are all equally involved in finding the business solutions;
- a format to unleash your creativity and ideas by metaphorical thinking. The bricks are only a tool unlock your deeper understanding for a topic.
Fields of Application
With LEGO® Serious Play you can solve management and business issues like
- Defining a Shared Vision & Getting Commitment,
- Defining Business Strategy & Vision,
- Developing Business Process Management,
- Developing Teams & Employees,
- Implementing Culture Change, / Organ. Change,
- Performing Market Analysis, SWAT Analysis,
- Brainstorming Innovation & Ideation / Product Design,
- Defining Value Proposition & Value Added (Business Canvas),
- Aligning any topics to business goals in general.
"May the power of bricks be with thou" — Trust me, I'm a trained LEGO Serious Play facilitator.
Give me a call!
Thank you very much for this very helpful article.
I do sometimes have to explain to people what exactly the purpose and functioning of LEGO Serious Play (LSP) is, and an article like this helps me massively to both argue better, as well as have a concise article to refer to whenever this question pops up. The "Main Takeaway" box is especially good for a quick topical summary.
There is another helpful post on the subject of LSP and what its purposes and benefits are in regards to creating a unifying experience for teams and to make use of it in a workshop situation. Unfortunately, it is in German ( http://www.faircoach.de/posts/70 ), so I don't know if that will be an issue or not.
The author, Ulrich Hollritt, certainly also brought up some good points.
I am glad there are valuable contributions to the subject of agile methods / processes like yours. Keep up the great work!