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Building business models with Lego Serious Play and CANVAS


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A short guide of using Lego Serious Play and CANVAS to build Business Models

Published in: Business

Building business models with Lego Serious Play and CANVAS

  1. 1. building business model using CANVAS and LEGO© SERIOUS PLAYTM Néstor González Aure -
  2. 2. basic fundamentals • The CANVAS methodology (from the book Business Model Generation written by Alexander Osterwalder e Yves Pigneur) provides a guide to reflect the issues about a business model, all integrated in a landscape of 9 key topics (value proposition, clients segments, customer relationship, channels, key activities, key resources, key partners, cost structures and revenue streams). • LEGO © SERIOUS PLAY TM, give us the opportunity to build models which represents metaphors about aspects of the real life in the business model. • Combining both, we have the opportunity not only to design and describe a business model, but to literally to BUILD a 3D version of it. • The main idea is follow CANVAS Business Model Generation logic, but building every element instead of only writing them. Getting all the benefits of the constructivism/constructionism approach reflected with LSP. • More advantages: Get a leaning forward design meeting. Unlock hidden knowledge thanks to the building process. And why not?... Use some LSP techniques to play with some scenarios and get a first approach about the mindset to keep in order to act or react getting the business model to practice. Néstor González Aure -
  3. 3. the approach • develop a workshop in order to identify the components of the business model • the workshop, could be focused in build a business model from scratch (a new company, product, service, etc.) or rebuild the existent business model in order to made some improvements • the outcome we are looking for, is a landscape (based on the CANVAS pattern) with lego 3D models representing each one of the key elements of every single block of the CANVAS • this will take 5-6 hours, but if we can go for a full day session, it will be time to play some emergence, to represent some scenarios and get guidelines about what to do in case of :) • 4 to 6 people it is a good party to work with Néstor González Aure -
  4. 4. the workshop 1 materials 2 agenda 3 tips Néstor González Aure -
  5. 5. the workshop 1 materials 2 agenda 3 tips Néstor González Aure -
  6. 6. 1. materials Néstor González Aure - • LEGO© SERIOUS PLAYTM starter kit (1 x participant) • LEGO© SERIOUS PLAYTM identity and landscape kit • One full sized printing (1,5mts x 1mts = 60inches x 40inches) of the Business Model CANVAS landscape. • Sticky notes of different colors • Some markers 2 separated table (one for building the models, and the other to share and build the landscape) whiteboard projector what we are going to use what we need to work remember this is a 4 to 6 people workshop
  7. 7. the workshop 1 materials 2 agenda 3 tips Néstor González Aure -
  8. 8. 5 - 6 hours workshop 8 hours workshop the workshop can have 4 moments lets begin by setting the basis, review the purpose of the workshop and braking the ice time to build! make lego models and set the landscape about the business model check/explore the business model and look for relevant swot issues do we have enough time?.. lets think about possibles events and see what to do! warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda
  9. 9. • explain the purpose of the workshop a talk a little about the CANVAS landscape (by this time the business model canvas methodology it’s wide known, but it is a good idea review every block) • review the principles of the LSP methodology warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda 45 min what we want here is the participants get familiar with the lego pieces, recognize that every body can build something and get a metaphor, and in my opinion, set a positive state of mind and a good pre-disposition for the business model analysis/ building process • building skills 1. The tower: ask the participants to build a tower as tall as they can, after that ask them to tell a story 2. Building form instructions: Ask the participants to build one of the Starter Kit predefined models 2.1 Modify the model: After build from instructions ask the participants to modify it in order to make a model that represents a personal thought about the subject of the workshop, you can use a question like this one ¿What do you like about your company/product/idea? 3. Build a model you can tell a story about: Finally you can ask an open-ended question like: Think about a product/services feature you like, and build why you like it
  10. 10. • review every block of the CANVAS asking first for individual models (in the construction table) and the asking the participant to place their models in the landscape printed (placed in the sharing table). This is the process: 1. Ask a key question (related to the canvas segment that is being analyzed), and ask the participant to build as many models he/she can in 8-10 minutes 2. Ask the participants to take their individual models to the sharing table and place their models in the correspondent canvas segment. 3. Every participant have to share the metaphor of their model. But after the first one, the facilitator will ask the followings participants to identify similarities in the previous model, and “in real time” ask the participants to integrate their models. Depending on the group dynamism, you can ask for build a shared model, or simple made a “mini landscape” grouping the similar models. warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda 3-4 hrs it is a good idea to have sticky notes to set the keywords of every model
  11. 11. • there are some recommended questions by the BMC author, the facilitator can use them when asking the participants to build their individual models. Some examples (remember always start the sentence with: build as many models you can that represents: 1. value propositions: ¿what problems are we helping to solve, what needs are we satisfying? 2. customer segments: ¿who are our main customers? 3. channels: ¿how do we reach our customers? ¿how de we deliver our products/services? 4. customer relationships: ¿what type of relations we are establishing with our customers? 5. key activities: ¿what do we need to do to develop/deliver our value propositions? 6. key resources: ¿what do we need to have to develop/deliver our value propositions? 7. key partners: ¿who are the allies that help us to develop/deliver of our value propositions? 8. cost structure: ¿what are the key activities/resources most expensive? 9. revenue streams: ¿for what are our customers willing to pay? warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda 3-4 hrs as we don’t have unlimited time, it is a good idea to pair/group some segments for each building/sharing iteration. This is an idea: • 1 • 2 • 3+4 • 5+6+7 • 8 • 9
  12. 12. Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda this is how a workshop looks like the process the outcome
  13. 13. • now is time to identify some key success factors. • the facilitator will ask the participants to build small models (you can use what if left of the starter kits), about strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats they can identify by looking de Business Model represented in the canvas landscape (as many as they can in 10-15 minutes) • form the four external sides of the canvas, the facilitator will choose one for each element (s.w.o.t) and ask the participants to put their models in the correspondent side. • this time, the facilitator will ask randomly one participant to another put ONE model, share their meaning. n the process the facilitator could ask if some model have the same meaning and past the next participant/model. warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda 1 hr this is a good exercise, very dynamic and bring a moment of climax to the exercise.. it is a good idea doing this standing up, and the facilitator could use the whiteboard to write de keywords of models in a swot matrix
  14. 14. • now that we have the Business Model landscape, and the swot analysis in place... lets play some emergence game!!! • facilitator will ask the participants to write some “possibles events”.. related of course to any of the elements reflected in the landscape. Some examples: “our key supplier rise their prices”, “there is a new competitor with a similar value proposition”, “there is a new channel”, “our customers are asking for an alternative way to pay for our service” • the idea, is review the “hot topics” of our business model and stress them out a little bit to look for some statements about what to do, and if that is the right choice or if it’s what we can/must/want to do.... warmup canvas building swot analysis play emergence Néstor González Aure - 2. agenda 2 hr in order to generate “recall effect” about the state of mind needed to face possibles events it is a good idea to finish this exercise asking the participants to build one small model that represent his “motto” and establish the Simple Principal Guides... small phrases based on the metaphor of every model
  15. 15. the workshop 1 materials 2 agenda 3 tips Néstor González Aure -
  16. 16. Néstor González Aure - 3. tips • make short pauses after every exercise, it helps to keep people focused, in flow, and with good energy. • if you don’t have 2 separate table, try to use a large one a use one half for building purpose and the other half to make the landscape • if you don’t have starter kits, you can use a window exploration bags for the warmup activities, and do the rest of the workshop with the identity and landscape kit • when you work with the value proposition and customer segments, ask the participants to use LEGO DUPLO pieces, that helps to represent great metaphors and is more visual • have a good time.. and keep in mind the principles of LSP (all about the model, everybody have to build and share, trust the hands, and so on...)
  17. 17. Hi there!, Thanks for take your time for read this presentation. I’m Néstor, and I’m managing partner of ICA2 ( a spinoff of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the Universidad Politécnica deValencia (Spain). I work as knowledge & innovation management consultant.And I became a LSP certified training in order to enhance our designing workshops (applied to: km models, innovation models, design thinking sessions, business models of products/services/ideas insights gained from R+D processes, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship initiatives) I’ve witnesses how the hand-brain connection driven by LSP boost the reflection/ideation/discussions dynamics, so I’ve strongly recommend its use. I prepared this material as an example of using LSP in the CANVAS business model generation logic (only for academic and knowledge sharing reasons), so I hoped you enjoy it!. For more info you can reach me following this link: or writing me to Best regards... and let’s build!