What is LEGO® Serious Play®

The LEGO® Serious Play® method is an innovative process to enhance performance by focusing on alignment.
A fundamental principle of LEGO® Serious Play® is that organizations consist of people and they are the key to sustainable changes.

How does it work

The method can be used to facilitate meetings, communication, strategy and problem-solving processes where the participants explore an issue by building answers to the facilitator’s crafted questions using the LEGO® bricks.
In practice, it goes like this: the facilitator asks a question, the participants construct a model – they give meaning to the model using metaphors – they make the story - reflections

Benefits using the method

  • Creating ‘leaning in’;
  • Opening up for discussions where everybody is heard.
  • Creating an atmosphere of mutual trust;
  • Unlocking new knowledge – we don’t know what we know we know;
  • Breaking habitual thinking;
  • Leading to full engagement and commitment in the process
  • It is fun!

Examples of cases where we have used LEGO® Serious Play®:

  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Leadership alignment on purpose and strategy
  • Creation of organizational values and derived behaviors
  • Building and implementing a global project culture
  • Alignment of the final product between customer and supplier
  • Define dependencies among teams in a project and identify initiatives to lead the project to accomplishment;
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Explore what it takes to execute on a strategy and ensure ownership and support for the strategy in the entire organization;
  • Team kick offs including a team aspiration and supporting actions
  • Conflict solution
  • Purpose definition
  • Personal development
  • Problem solving

Can you see the changes?

Over the course of a two-day LEGO Serious Play workshop with a Danish leadership team, I saw how easy a challenge can be blown up to dimensions of wild elephants. And then deflate into a domestic animal. I have tried to capture the development in three pictures.

Picture one

In picture 1, the symbol of two elephants in a black tower is a metaphor for the foreign HQ, sometimes pushing in another direction than the local plant desires. This story of a powerful HQ pushing against the local plant was repeated in many conversations and explained the slow progress in the team.

Picture two

In picture 2, you can see what happened to the animal as the day went by: the heavy barrier transformed into one elephant with green on its back – symbolising a fruitful relationship with the HQ.

Picture Three

And on the second day, what was once a dark threat, turned into a domesticated animal. This development illustrated how easy our perceptions can paralyse our actions. Fortunately, we can change your perceptions and way of judging people – or HQs. When the leadership team realised that they could influence the situation – and domesticate the wild elephants, they were able to see the obstacle as an asset and move ahead.

Sometimes the challenges we face, appear to be wild and dangerous tigers but in fact they are merely sweet, playful kittens... Key learning from a workshop in Paris.