How can LEGOS make Serious Play for Work Teams?

LEGOS aren’t just for kids! Can you believe that adults use legos at work to help improve team collaboration, spark creativity, and problem-solve?

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) is a method for facilitating communication in meetings, promoting thinking, and problem-solving ideas for individuals, teams, and organizations.

As a certified facilitator for LSP, I design a workshop with questions that the participants then build lego models to respond, listen and share with the group – ultimately co-creating a shared model that leads to the goal of the workshop.

History and how LSP was developed

Developed internally by The LEGO Group in the 90s when they were going through business growth challenges Robert Rasmussen, the Director of Product Development at the time joined the efforts to investigate these challenges using legos for strategic development

What emerged was the ability to help people see they were part of the system, which helped them envision scenarios to better prepare for the future. They recognized the success of this method internally and began training facilitators in 2001 to bring the methodology to other organizations

Now separate from Lego, Rasmussen Consulting conducts facilitator training.  Robert is the Principal architect and father of the LSP methodology. He has become primarily responsible for refining and grounding the theories and science behind the method.

LSP can be applied to…

  • Unlock the potential of PEOPLE and their values.
  • Develop TEAM, leadership, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Build and validate BUSINESS MODELS.
  • Conduct STRATEGIC PLANNING meetings.
  • Identify and define MISSION, VISION and VALUES.
  • Create new PRODUCTS and SERVICES.
  • Analyze scenarios and look for solutions.

Core Beliefs of LSP

  1. Everyone around the table leans in. Leaders don’t have all the answers. Success depends on hearing all the voices inside the room and all voices have a contribution.

2. 100/100 meetings. Most meetings 20% of people do 80% of the talking – in LSP 100% share. People naturally want to contribute, be part of something bigger, and take responsibility. Teams often don’t function at their potential, leaving untapped knowledge in team members. LSP harnesses unique ideas and avoids groupthink.

3. Hand Knowledge. When hands are used in learning it generates a powerful emotional charge. Thoughts and ideas are built with our hands and can be expressed in greater detail. What we share is more easily understood and remembered. Both hands are connected with both sides of our brains to maximize all senses and learning styles at the same time.

The LSP ® method results in more participation, more insights, more engagement, and more commitment to implementing solutions. The purpose of LSP ® is to change the format of traditional meetings with low engagement and participation to a model where there is 100-100 participation, that is, where everyone actively participates in ideas and decision making.

It is based on extensive research in the areas of business and strategy, organizational development, psychology, and learning, and is based on the concept of “hands-on knowledge.”

You may be asking yourself, how does playing with legos produce this?

Why LSP is Effective

LEGO® blocks serve as a metaphor to create a universal language that anyone can use, regardless of their experience, position, education, or culture. The LSP method enables everyone to share their knowledge and insights.

We start with questions focused on the individual, then it builds into the group co-creating together. The structure of the LSP workshop requires that everyone be actively involved in the decision-making and solution-building processes. It increases the likelihood that each participant will feel more engaged and committed to implementing decisions and agreements after the workshop.

More ideas and concrete results are produced because everyone has the same time to build their answers and ideas even before starting the conversation and the sharing round.

Open communication and deep listening among participants is encouraged. Viewing 3D models, building metaphors, and stories generate interest and better retention of what is shared, which also contributes to better understanding.

LSP provides a safe and reliable environment and establishes a relationship of collaboration between participants. The focus of the methodology is on the answers built with the LEGO blocks, not on the people who answer them, which also allows for more intense discussions about the real facts and problems, minimizing personal conflicts.

Coming back to the question of “How can Legos make serious play for work teams?” Well, LSP is a fun and experiential way to collaborate and co-create together to get to a mutually agreed upon understanding.  – And we’re adults playing with legos at work!

If this seems like something you’d like to explore for your team, let’s talk! You too can build stuff with legos with your work colleagues – and get results from it!

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