In 1996 several people embarked on a journey which lead to a new creative “thinking, communication and problem-solving method”. On the one side Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, CEO of the family owned LEGO® company, on the other side the professors Victor and Roos from the Lausanne-based IMD business school. Kristiansen realised that playing was irreversibly changing with the rise of video games but the company lacked to developed a new strategy. They started working on a method now called LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. It took a few years to refine the method now with Robert Rasmussen, Director of R&D of LEGO® Education, and Per Kristiansen in charge and to get the method into the final shape. The group researched the feasibility to use LEGO® bricks to develop strategy concepts and developed the core process. Later on it became an open source method and has been used since then successfully in various contexts.
In a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop a trained facilitator guides the participants by asking questions which the participants answer by building 3-dimensional models of their ideas with bricks and describe their models by telling a story. Specific brick kits have been developed for the SERIOUS PLAY® method and are used in workshops.
Since the start of this method a variety of topics have been tackled with SERIOUS PLAY®, from brainstorming to team building or the development of a new strategy or business model. Among the topics that can be approached are simple questions for a team, in a one-to-one meeting or coaching sessions to a full scale future scenario or strategy workshop going more and more into detail and refining and challenging your model.
How does it work? Each participant builds / contructs his metaphorical model and presents it. From these individual models so-called shared models can be build and challenged. Eg. what happens to your business model if a global pandemic was to strike? The group then can show in the model where exactly this will have an impact and how. The advantage compared to traditional techniques is that you think with your hands, visualize and are giving better opportunities to construct a model.
It’s not the LEGO® but the people that bring the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method and its solutions to life with the help of a good facilitator. The answer often lies in yourself, you / the team knows more than you consciously seem to know you know.
Are you curious how this might help you? Send me your question or topic of interest and we will find out.
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