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LEGO® Serious Play®. How To Solve Your Business Challenges Playfully

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LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) is a structured and facilitated workshop method for strategic decision making and problem resolution in business environments.
LSP answers questions rephrasing the business topics. The models built and their stories shared by the builders are the answers. LSP is a playful and still serious way to create new insights and to develop innovative ideas.

Published in: Leadership & Management

LEGO® Serious Play®. How To Solve Your Business Challenges Playfully

  1. 1. LEGO® Serious Play® How To Solve Your Business Challenges Playfully Michael Tarnowski Plays-In-Business.com www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Leonora Giovanazzi https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyonora/1413224950
  2. 2. What is LEGO® Serious Play®? LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) is a structured and facilitated workshop method for strategic decision making and problem resolution in business www.plays-in-environments. business.com Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3640805316
  3. 3. What does LEGO® Serious Play®? 1/2 LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP):  Is a structured, facilitated method.  Answers questions rephrasing the business topics. The models built and their stories shared by the builders are the answers.  Is a playful and still serious way to create new insights and to develop innovative www.plays-in-business.com ideas; Picture Credit: desbiens_jean, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeandesbiens/6079961911
  4. 4. What does LEGO® Serious Play®? 2/2 LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP):  Is a secure and safe place to image and explore ideas by building models with LEGO® bricks;  Creates a shared understanding about the problem space in question;  www.Investigates plays-in-business.complex com and dynamic dependencies and emergences; Picture Credit: desbiens_jean, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeandesbiens/6079961911
  5. 5. LEGO® Serious Play® Engages People “Lean Backward” Meetings: only a few participants are www.plays-in-business.com engage. Picture Credit: Zach Graves, https://www.flickr.com/photos/basictheory/849025205 Picture Credit: http://www.mathewbirch.com “Lean Forward” Meetings: all participants engage equally. vs.
  6. 6. Who should use LSP ? 1/4 Everyone who…  …is faced a complex problem and does not know how to handle it.  …wants to engage all resources available in her organisation.  www.…wants plays-in-to business.turn com visions into commitments. Picture Credit: Graham Richardson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/8420446592/
  7. 7. Who should use LSP ? 2/4 Everyone who…  …wants to design actions.  …develops leadership and teams.  www.…does plays-in-1:business.1 coaching com Picture Credit: Graham Richardson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/8420446592/
  8. 8. Who should use LSP ? 3/4 Everyone who…  …looks for a solution to a shared problem.  …has to create a shared mind-set about something.  www.…builds plays-in-a business.shared com vision. Picture Credit: Graham Richardson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/8420446592/
  9. 9. Who should use LSP ? 4/4 Everyone who…  …wants constructive discussions where everybody is heard.  …has to create a shared mind-set about something.  www.…wants plays-in-constructive business.com discussions where everybody is heard. Picture Credit: Graham Richardson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/8420446592/
  10. 10. How LEGO® Serious Play® works 1. Challenging The facilitator sets a challenge to the group. This challenge depends entirely on the issues and topics the workshop shall address. 2. Constructing You answer the challenge by building a model with LEGO® bricks. Make sense of what you know, imagine, and build with your own 3D model in response to the challenge given. www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Martin Alvarez Espinar, https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinalvarez/14641980635
  11. 11. How LEGO® Serious Play® works 3. Story Telling Share your story covering the meaning of the model, i.e. explain your thoughts, associations, emotions and feelings coming to your mind when constructing. 4. Reflecting Crystallise key insights that are uncovered; ask clarification questions to the models. Sum up surprises and connections. www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Martin Alvarez Espinar, https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinalvarez/14641980635
  12. 12. In 3D We understand the World Easier (Model Plans for the Shanghai Expo 2010) 2D model 3D model Benefit of 3D models: they address all our senses – we can interact with them www.plays-– change in-business.them com physically, touch them, taste them, and smell them. Picture Credit: i a walsh, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh/3780451836 Picture Credit: i a walsh, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanwalsh/3779640773
  13. 13. Thinking with Your Hands Play with the bricks! – Stimulate your brain by using your hands unconsciously. Think with hands – Play with the bricks, fiddle around, and be baffled by the www.result. plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: kreezzalee, https://www.flickr.com/photos/repoort/2579139642
  14. 14. Constructing Models www.plays-in-business.com Construct models to answers challenges. Picture Credit: http://www.mathewbirch.com
  15. 15. Models are Metaphors – Give Them Meaning! Rituals our floor shop Skills & Technology are my pride www.plays-in-business.com Management leads me Management collaborates with Shares & Gains rewards Near competitors endanger me Controlling watches me Product Development brings me money Business Development improves me supports me Construct models to answers challenges. Picture Credit: http://www.mathewbirch.com Vision & Strategy drive me
  16. 16. Performing a LSP Workshop Run a LSP workshop in groups of max. 12 participants per facilitator. The facilitator sets the challenge and timelines, and guides the process. Scale www.plays-it if in-needed: business.com 10 facilitators/10 tables, 20 facilitators/20 tables… Picture Credit: markorillo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/markorillo/4587599434/
  17. 17. Roles in LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop Facilitator: sets the challenge and timelines, and www.guides plays-in-business.the process. com Picture Credit: Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinker-tailor/4284883477 You – Group/Participants: solve the challenge raised by building models & sharing their meaning Picture Credit: Bill Toenjes, https://www.flickr.com/photos/toomuchdew/6008136303
  18. 18. The Philosophy Behind LSP 1. Focus on the Story – Not on the Bricks Bricks create stories. 2. Understand the Metaphors used in Stories Metaphors provide richer descriptions of the reality, and open a wider look for new possibilities. 3. Explore, Prepare – Don`t Implement Gather intentionally to apply your imagination. Explore possible and plausible possibilities. Generate options and develop new understandings together. 4. The Knowledge is already in the Room LSP unlocks hidden and constructs new knowledge. LSP fosters the understanding of the system modelled. LSP sharpens the view for connecting purposes between organisation and individual. www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Jeremy Keith , https://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/377537734
  19. 19. Why LSP works 1/2  While playing participants think outside the box creatively without stress.  Participants construct the models in a flow of intense playing.  The models “emerge” out of the bricks at hand without any long-term rational pre-design.  Playing with and challenging the model constructs new knowledge www.plays-in-business.com through self-reflection. Picture Credit: Sonny Abesamis, https://www.flickr.com/photos/enerva/11057276504
  20. 20. Why LSP works 2/2  As metaphors the models opens a wide door of interpretation and fantasy.  LSP engages communication: participants explain the metaphors of all the model’s meanings.  Building with the hands creates strong involvement and commitment. “Hands-on”, “Minds-on” building. www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Wolfgang Lonien, https://www.flickr.com/photos/wjlonien/11027445953
  21. 21. Workshop Principles 1/5  The facilitator sets the challenge and timelines, and guides the process.  The model is your answer to the challenge.  www.There plays-in-is business.no right com or wrong answer in building with the bricks. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3639993243
  22. 22. Workshop Principles 2/5  “Stealing ideas” from the other participants is allowed.  Playing with the brick unlocks and constructs new knowledge.  www.Everyone plays-in-business.builds com and everyone tells. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3639993243
  23. 23. Workshop Principles 3/5  Don’t have a workshop with your self about what to build – trust the process: Think with your hands!  Don’t assume, ASK yourself!  Build systems, play scenarios, envision strategies – get commitments www.plays-in-business.com and actions. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3639993243
  24. 24. Workshop Principles 4/5  The builder owns the model and its story.  Accept the builder’s meaning and story in the model.  www.Question plays-in-business.the model com and its story – not the person. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3639993243
  25. 25. Workshop Principles 5/5  Take Responsibility for your own and the learning of the others. www.plays-in-business.com  Finally: Have FUN! Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3639993243
  26. 26. The Method: The 4-step Core Process These 4 procedures are fundamental to all LSP applications: 1. Challenge 2. Construction 3. Sharing 4. Reflection www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Martin Alvarez Espinar, https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinalvarez/14455374939
  27. 27. The Method: The 4-step Core Process These 4 procedures are fundamental to all LSP applications. 1. Challenge 2. Construction 3. Sharing 4. Reflection www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Julien GONG Min , https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/3634061465
  28. 28. The Method: 1. Challenge In step 1 the facilitator pose a challenge. This challenge depends entirely on the issues and topics the workshop shall address. There is no standardised question set in LSP. This question will determine the content of steps 2, and 3. www.plays-in-business.com The results of steps 2 and 3 will serve as answer to the challenge raised. Picture Credit: Jaap den Dulk , https://www.flickr.com/photos/11527081@N05/2940863843
  29. 29. The Method: 2. Construction In step 2 the workshop participants image and build their models. www.plays-in-business.com At this step very often a coarse story line of the story to be shared emerges. Picture Credit: ben dalton , https://www.flickr.com/photos/noii/1362859802
  30. 30. The Method: 3. Sharing In step 3 every participant shares the interpretation of her model – why the model is a valid answer to the challenge. This shared communication in the group ensures that all participants will be able to realise that a variety of total different models can be valid answers. www.plays-in-business.com And they will better understand the thinking and rational of each builder behind a model. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3640805084
  31. 31. The Method: 4. Reflection Step 4 – Reflection – can be done in two ways:  After the builder had told his story the group and the facilitator ask questions to the model explained: asking for more details on the meaning of parts of the model. The builder provides the information wanted.  After all models are explained the group summarise each model in one single sentence; e.g.: “What me most impressed on model X.” www.plays-in-business.com You can combine both. Picture Credit: Bill Ward, https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3640804904
  32. 32. The Method: Application Techniques 1. Building Individual Models and Stories 2. Building Shared Models and Stories 3. Creating a Landscape 4. Making Connections 5. Building a System 6. Playing Emergence and Decisions 7. Extracting Simple Guiding Principles The AT 1-AT 7 are concrete applications resp. realisations of the 4-step core process. AT 1-AT 7 is not a linear sequence. However a LSP workshop always starts from AT 1 you can jump to the other techniques by your decision. Which techniques and in which order will be applied depends on the workshop topics and purpose. www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Plays-in-Business, customer-centric LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop
  33. 33. The Method: AT 1: Building Individual Models and Stories The goal of AT 1 is to share individual and personal knowledge with the group. In AT 1 each builder images and constructs an individual model for her one to answer the question raised by the facilitator. www.plays-in-business.com After building the builders shares their stories. Picture Credit: Bill Ward , https://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3640804476
  34. 34. The Method: AT 2: Building Shared Models and Stories The goal of AT 2 is to create a shared understanding and consensus of certain topics. The group consolidates all individual models in a common model agreed by all. For this the participants integrate either (1) parts of the individual models, or (2) complete individual models. www.plays-in-business.com After integration the participants could extend the shared model with further bricks. Picture Credit: Plays-in-Business, customer-centric LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop
  35. 35. The Method: AT 3: Creating a Landscape The goal of AT 3 is to analyse collections of individual models. Participants analyse / categorise the collection of all individual models to see differences or common patterns. www.plays-in-business.com Within this inspections no original details or meanings are lost. Picture Credit: Plays-in-Business, customer-centric LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop
  36. 36. The Method: AT 4: Making Connections The goal of AT 4 is to identify relationships between the meanings of two constructed models: • Interfaces / breakpoints between parts of a (shared) model • Relationships / dependencies between different (individual) models. Connections are constructed by building physical links in using a chain, a tube, a string, or a hose. www.plays-in-business.com Connections can be strong, weak, or flexible. Picture Credit: http:// istockphoto.com
  37. 37. The Method: AT 5: Building a System A system of models emerges when multiple models are connect in a way that cascaded effects occur. www.plays-in-business.com AT 5 “Building a System” is an extension of AT 4 “Making Connections”. Picture Credit: Plays-in-Business, customer-centric LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop
  38. 38. The Method: AT 6: Playing Emergence and Decisions The goal of AT 6 is to simulate the consequences of decisions by playing scenarios. In AT 6 participants explore how the models or the landscape responds to dynamic changes / event E.g. “What would happen, if a weak connection is changed to a strong one?”; “what would www.plays-in-business.com happen, if certain parts (of a model) are move far away, or near together?” Picture Credit: Plays-in-Business, customer-centric LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop
  39. 39. The Method: AT 7: Extracting Simple Guiding Principles The goal of AT 7 is to support strategic decision making in the real world. In AT 7 the participants develop high-level guidelines to implement in the real world actions / decisions derived from the models built. To transfer lessons learned in the LSP workshop, drill down these guidelines to most achievable, realistic actions as much as possible. www.plays-in-business.com AT 7 is a consequence of AT 6. Picture Credit: Les Chatfield, https://www.flickr.com/photos/elsie/8326905483
  40. 40. How can I use LEGO® Serious Play®? LEGO® Serious Play® is open source. However, for best results, hire a trained LSP facilitator – like m e www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: David Pickett, https://www.flickr.com/photos/fallentomato/15243811625/
  41. 41. Give LEGO® Serious Play® a Chance! Solve with LEGO® Serious Play® your REAL problems: Engagingly • Playfully • Constructively • Appreciatively • Innovatively www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Ellen Forsyth, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ellf/7094498773
  42. 42. Are you facing a complex problem and don’t know what to do next? www.plays-in-business.com Michael Tarnowski, Certified LEGO Serious Play Facilitator Plays-In-Business.com Picture Credit: Ellen Forsyth, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ellf/7094498773 1 click to get in touch with me!
  43. 43. References Books / Websites 1. Per Kristiansen, Robert Rasmussen: Building a Better Business Using the Lego Serious Play Method. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. 2. LinkedIn groups:  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/LEGO-SERIOUS-PLAY-visit-wwwlegoseriousplaycom-39243  https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=4398137 3. Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/6463330677/ 4. Websites: • http://www.seriousplay.com • http://seriousplaypro.com Short version of this presentation: LEGO Serious Play For Managers http://bit.ly/pibLSP4Managers www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Julien GONG Min, https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/3634884928/
  44. 44. Questions? – Comments? – Interested in LEGO Serious Play workshops, and Consultancy? Drop me a note: info@plays-in-business.com Or call me: +49-172-6915261 • +49-611-2056820 (cell phone/mobile) (regular phone) Twitter: @M_Tarnowski, @PlaysInBusiness Facebook: http://bit.ly/PiB-FB LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/MT-LinkdIn Xing: http://bit.ly/MT-Xing SlideShare: http://bit.ly/MT-SShare www.plays-in-business.com This document may be further distributed free-of-charge in its original, complete form only. Please credit Plays-in-Business.com. All images used are – if not stated otherwise – taken from flickr.com under Common Creative License. Picture Credit: Julien GONG Min, https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/3634884928/
  45. 45. Plays-In-Business.com  Trained LEGO Serious Play Facilitator  Trained Innovation Games Facilitator  Management 3.0 certified Facilitator  Certifed Scrum Master, Agile Coaching  ISO 15504/Automotive SPiCE Assessor  Requirements Engineering & Management consultancy  Quality Assurance & Management consultancy  Project Management & Configuration Management consultancy www.plays-in-business.com ISO 15504 Assessor Industrial Sectors: Automotive, Finance, Logistics & Public Transport, Defence & Aerospace, Aviation & Air Traffic, Management Plays-In-Business.com • Fritz-Kalle-Str. 4 • D-65187 Wiesbaden • Fon: +49-172-6915261 • Fax: +49-3212-1312401 info@plays-in-business.com • www.plays-in-business.com Picture Credit: Julien GONG Min, https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/3634884928/

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