We use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ since 2006 to design strategies, business or services with teams. Why? Because we believe LEGO® is the perfect tool to engage people and their brains for cocreation! Let us wrap up how.
WHY LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™?
- “Rapid prototyping” of mental models and scenarios
The participants really “make” their story! They don’t consume, they create.
We call it rapid prototyping because you start modeling a core idea but keep adding content (and bricks). No fear of failure, because it’s just a prototype in the making! And even if the model is finished and you use it as your storyline, more ideas might be added during storytelling. You don’t need the answer right in the beginning, you have time to think while building and let your idea develop! (This might be why introverts and extroverts like this process.)
- Testing future scenarios with 4D models
3D LEGO® models as artefacts visualise complex information. The information is now tangible and easier to work with. Adding or changing the model allows to add a 4th dimension: time! With changing your 3D models you can show how scenarios might change your business or business landscape. It a unique tool to “play” Real Time Strategies: Uncovering the system’s behavior and learning what you can do NOW to be prepared for FUTURE developments.
- Everybody is engaged and in charge!
Hierarchies are neutralized in this process. Everybody builds and tells his/her story. With all the storytelling and people uncovering their individual thinking, feelings and experiences, the rich individual knowledge build on others’ to a new team wisdom. This “crowdsourcing” of the team’s wisdom allows in depth analysis of challenges, in the present and for the future.
- Shared language and team identity
Visual information is easier to remember than abstract information. With the focus on storytelling and showing in the models, people develop a shared language and a new team identity. A competitor might be called “foxes in planes” in the future, because this is how they were built. Or people refer to the “red bicycle” to remind each other of a lean approach in planning a conference (this is how play4agile was started, the yearly un-conference on high “play”formance for agile teams).
And WHY LEGO® (and not drawings, clay or Playmobil…)?
- Lego is fun!
LEGO Serious Play materials are put together in order to be diverse and stimulating for the imagination. The special parts are appealing and you just might start by picking your favorite pieces…
- LEGO® is for everybody!
Everyone knows how to (or can learn to) build models with LEGO®! Nobody has to be talented – artistically or technically – to express him-/herself with LEGO®. Of course we like drawn visuals too, but usually clients prefer their teams to build, not to draw, if they can choose- To make sure that everybody has the same skills how to use LEGO® , the participants will be warmed up with special skillsbuildings (which vary depending on the participants and the expected outcome.)
- No mess, no dirt, no hassle!
While the participants are totally activated and engaged into building their ideal models, the only risk is that you have bricks on the floor as the only mess after this kind of workshop.
- Everything is reversible and customizable!
Which leads us to our core benefits: Since everything that is built, is reversible, it’s possible to prototype. This allows four-dimensional simulations: Having 3D models and time as 4th dimension to create the future!
The prerequisite for all this is a well designed workshop based on the defined LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ processes, it won’t happen automatically just by using LEGO®! Facilitating a process using artefacts and with high team engagement is fun and a challenge, but has very different dynamics than “common” facilitation with pens and stickies.
We think those are pretty unique benefits of using LEGO® (SERIOUS PLAY™)!