LEGO® Serious Play® triggers and enhances the skills for Creative Problem Solving. It includes imagination and reasoning by metaphors, as well as integration, analysis and evaluation, which are all powerful tools to unlock creativity to surprising and realistic solutions. It includes a facilitated meeting in which participants are led through a series of questions, probing deeper and deeper into the subject. Each participant builds his or her own 3D LEGO® model in response to the facilitator’s questions using specially selected LEGO® bricks. These LEGO® 3D models serve as a basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing, problem solving and decision-making.
“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than you can from a lifetime of conversation” – Plato
As a group you will continue with building shared models and landscape, giving them meaning through story-making, and playing out various possible scenarios – a process which deepens understanding, sharpens insight, and socially “bonds” together the group as it “plays” together. The method serves as a shared language regardless of culture or position.
LEGO® Serious Play® is a tool operating in the vortex of Enterprise Design Thinking, it is the perfect tool to populate the Enterprise Design Canvas. In comparison to the classic approach of using post-its it adds creativity to the table. A simple answer put on a ‘post-it’ is based on the critical thinking thought process. It is like a short cut to “exploring solutions” and jumps to the thinking skills like identification, analysis or evaluation. By applying LEGO® Serious Play® we facilitate the thought process to start with exploring the vision or assessing the situation.
The LEGO® Serious Play® core process consists of the following four sequenced steps: posing the question, construct (a model and a covering story), sharing and reflect. Within the core process all of the following seven application techniques are used:
- Building individual Models
- Building Shared Models
- Creating a Landscape
- Making Connections
- Building a System
- Playing Emergence and Decisions
- Extracting Simple Guiding Principles
Each of the application techniques is based on mastering the previous one(s). To illustrate the use of these application techniques to populate the Enterprise Design Canvas, the LEGO® 3D models in the blog post have the Enterprise Design Canvas building block mentioned and the applied application techniques.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
Using a Creative Problem Solving method like LEGO® Serious Play® leads to creative and surprising, but realistic, solutions. By applying reasoning by metaphors to start telling your story around your 3D model new insights are shared, sharpened by other participants, and tested during playing out various scenarios. As a result, participants of the workshop are both confident and committed to implement the solutions discovered.
The story which accompanies the shared models, landscapes or derived guiding principles are etched in the memory of the participants, which makes them believe and live the business transformation. For outsiders a transcript of the (end-) stories is required to gain the insights.
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