LEGO Serious Play (LSP)
A play-based problem solving and communication technique for helping groups be more effective!
Participants build 3-dimensional models using LEGO® bricks in response to questions on individual identity, group/team identity, connections to other team/group members, and successful team/group behavior. Once a model is built, participants give it meaning and create stories around the model. The culmination of this process is the development of a set of guiding principles that allows a group/team to evaluate existing options and identify new ones, even when faced with tight constraints, complex situations, and unfamiliar territory.
LSP draws upon extensive research from the fields of business, psychology, organization development and education.
LSP distinguishes itself as a:
- Remarkably efficient tool. By having participants make use of multiple intelligences—visual-spatial intelligence, linguistic intelligence, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence—groups discover what they didn’t know they knew in a very direct manner.
- Method for developing fresh insights into tough issues through the use of metaphor.
- Tool that produces deep and sustainable results.
- Tool that works to integrate social, cognitive, and emotional dimensions into group exercises.
- Tool that is particularly adept at leveling the playing field so that the power of a group’s diverse resources and competencies can be realized.
- Means for revealing complex human systems so that teams know the landscape and are better prepared for the future.
- Way of productively addressing tough conflicts in organizations.
LSP is built on the theory of Constructionism from Seymour Papert at MIT and his idea of concrete thinking – thinking with and through concrete objects. Constructionism proposes we gain knowledge when we construct something external to ourselves. Research has shown that the use of objects as part of an inquiry process can make hidden thought more discussable. Constructing internal mental maps becomes easier when you build external models that can be examined, shared, and discussed. This is consistent with psychology and art therapy that uses drawing, collage, and sculpture to create analogues of internal mental maps. In building 3-dimensional models with LEGO® bricks, participants literally think with their hands.
Metaphors provide richer descriptions of our realities that might challenge assumptions and reveal new possibilities. The link between metaphors and learning has been widely researched: Metaphors generate radically new ways of understanding things. A series of dominant metaphors shape the way we understand organizations or groups in which we work or live among. Metaphors transform us in their potential to uncover perceptions, attitudes and feelings which were previously subconscious or unarticulated.
LEGO® bricks convey both strong cognitive as well as emotionally-charged information. Emotions play a particularly strong role in learning – they are useful in alerting us to important environmental changes, to appropriate responses, and to anchor important events in our long-term memory.
If your organization is interested in a LEGO Serious Play Workshop please inquire through the contact page