Lego Serious Play is the creation of team work including input from Professor Johan Roos and Professor Bart Victor who started out looking for alternatives to the conventional outcomes of strategic planning.
While working with Lego’s Kristiansen and Robert Rasmussen and Professor David Owens, the team turned to Lego itself, believing they could use the Lego bricks as tools for working through organisational problems.
According to Lego, the innovative business tool was developed with Roos bringing the strategy background, Victor the organisational behavior and Rasmussen the learning and development theories, while Owens did the product development and process refinement.
Lego Serious Play is all about enhancing business performance, moving away from traditional planning processes and attempting to foster creative thinking, using building blocks to find solutions.
Over recent years the concepts have been developed further and Lego Serious Play has been developed into a business consulting method and is used outside of Lego among companies including Daimler Chrysler, Roche Pharmaceutical and Nokia. It has also been used in government and not for profit organisations.
A group of certified consultants use the product with their clients with the objective being to build metaphors and organisational identities using Lego bricks. Participants work through imaginary scenarios constructing three-dimensional solutions through ‘serious play’.
Lego says this approach helps to reach solutions faster, and suggests the results are different to those of standard brainstorming and problem-solving sessions.
According to its developers, the approach is based on research which suggests that hands-on, “minds-on” learning produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities.
They claim the participants come away with skills to communicate more effectively, to engage their imaginations more readily, and to approach their work with increased confidence, commitment and insight.
Proponents of Lego Serious Play have suggested the process deepens the reflection and supports effective dialogue especially when you are pressed for time.The approach allows you to involve your whole team in the discussions all of the time. It is a facilitated process based on how our mind works.
The common language – the bricks – treats everyone as equals and allows for all aspects to be heard delivering lasting impact.