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Fostering creative thinking and building shared identities: Basic techniques of Lego Serious Play at Mini Meetup

Appnova published a blog post about a recent LEGO SERIOUS PLAY London Mini-Meetup

Why Lego bricks in the first place?

When first I was given a bag of Lego bricks, I was excited and nervous at the same time. Partly because I somehow thought my artistic skills were going to be tested.

I was glad I was wrong in this (see more on our previous article on Scrum LEGO planning game). For those who are new to the concept or even skeptical about using Legos in a corporate environment, I’d like to share some of my experience learning the basic techniques at Lego® Serious Play® London mini MeetUp.

The philosophies and origins of Lego Serious Play

Today most of our meetings and discussions are dominated by verbal and numerical formats. You’re probably aware that they don’t always lead to insightful and productive communications. But what about other underexplored ways of conveying important information that help unlock new business opportunities and innovations?

‘LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® rejects the idea that external ‘experts’ must be brought in to identify problems, and to propose solutions; on the contrary, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® begins with the assumption that the answers are ‘already in the room’, and invites participants to ‘think with their hands’ to build their understandings.’

Warming up 1 – get to know Lego!

Firstly each of us was asked to build a tower using either orange and green lego bricks. Interestingly none of our Lego towers looked the same.

Warming up 2 – Assigning a symbolic meaning to objects.

We can give our bricks any metaphors and symbolic meaning. No matter how complex your idea may be, a Lego model, with your own twist, can represent an idea, meaning and even a metaphor. Basically anything you want to express.

For example, we were asked to construct anything we wanted using several bricks. Then each of us picked a card with random terms and names written on them. My card said ‘Explain this! – Your model was meant to represent ‘Marriage”.

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Now this is getting interesting. I just built something that was meant to mean marriage. OK, let’s see. My model is colourful, weird-looking and unstable. Well, a marriage can be unstable right?

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LEGO SERIOUS PLAY video from Chile

Video con la metodología LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, workshops realizados en Chile, Perú y Bolivia por el Coach y faciltador certificado Gustavo González Acevedo de Coaching & Partners Chile para empresas como Adidas Group, Nielsen, Chile Tabacos, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID), H&M, Parque del Recuerdo, Drake Grupo Ibáñez, Torre, Celulosa Arauco, Universidad del Desarrollo, Universidad Diego Portales

Patrizia Bertini Video

Patrizia Bertini Shows LEGO SERIOUS PLAY and Creative Tools for Experience Design

As designers take on more complex challenges of creating digital experiences spanning multiple touchpoints, from smartwatches to TVs, Patrizia Bertini (@Legoviews) asks how the structure and methods of design teams must evolve. This hour long session sees Patrizia simultaneously conduct a Lego Serious Play workshop while explaining how its techniques could help design teams better understand user behaviour and translate that knowledge into more effective digital experiences.

Recorded at MEX, March 2015 (pmn.co.uk/mex/)

Cultural Diversity with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

When critical issues are physically acted out using our own hands, our mind is much better able to deal with them. Precisely for this reason one of our clients in the bank industry has chosen to open the training programme for its young talent with a Lego Serious Play workshop conducted by the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitators of Trivioquadrivio for the second year in a row.

Cultural Diversity with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY - by Dario Villa

One hundred managers from across Europe gathered to embark on a journey of personal and professional growth facilitated by Trivioquadrivio. The theme was again cultural differences and the questions of the workshop were multiple:

  • What are the characteristic features of national cultures in the countries of the New Europe?
  • What difficulties do I have to tackle when my colleague belongs to a different culture from mine?
  • How can you leverage these differences to improve teamwork?
Cultural Diversity with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY - by Dario Villa
Cultural Diversity with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY – by Dario Villa of Trivioquadrivio

In the first part of the workshop, similar issues were addressed not so much in theory, but rather constructed, handled, played out in three-dimensional models made individually and discussed collectively.

In the second part of the day, each of the five groups of participants built a shared model. This created an overview, which made it possible to simulate the actual operational impact that cultural differences generate in professional everyday life.

Some simple guiding principles were laid out at the end of the workshop, which each participant could put into practice to best address the cultural differences that play a part in every sector of their organization.

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Lego Serious Play TTT in Italy / June 2015

Hello everybody, for the Italian residents (and speakers…), Trivioquadrivio – LSP certified partner since 2003, with a significant LSP experience in all business industries and awarded as “Partner of the Year” in 2005  – is about to hold a  train the trainer session for aspiring facilitators.

The three-day session – Italian language only! – will take place in Milano and will provide the participants with an in-deep training based on Trivioquadrivio’s customized LSP approach and experiences.

Dates are still to be set. If you’re interested in knowing more, please drop me a line: villa@triq.it.

Lego Serious Play Facilitator Network