Review of Per Kristiansen’s and Robert Rasmussen’s new book Building a Better Business Using the Lego Serious Play Method
I was introduced to Lego Serious Play when I read Jonathan Bender’s “Lego: A Love Story” a year ago. I’ve been looking for a career path that would involve Lego – either working AT Lego, or working WITH Lego. This was my light-bulb moment, but there were obstacles. Aside from the expensive sets, I had to get accredited to really learn about the methodology. I planned to earlier this year but circumstances did not allow it, so I resorted to doing tons of research online. Problem was, most of the material was too technical (felt like I was back in college again) and were repeating each other. I couldn’t really grasp the concept until Per Kristiansen and Robert Rasmussen came out with this book.
The book starts out with the LSP journey going back to the mid 90s, how Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen was seeking out ways to improve techniques on developing strategies within The Lego Group. I was surprised to find out that majority of the development of LSP were mostly done by what one would consider outsiders of the company. It also delved on how Lego Education had a role in the development of LSP, how it became a part of TLG, and eventually how it transformed into an open source process. It made me more appreciative of the method and the hard work that went into it.
It then branches out into 3 parts. The first part, titled “The Lego Serious Play Territory”, covered the business needs that LSP can provide a solution, the power of the Lego brick, what serious play meant, and how it all came together to create a unique and innovative methodology. This part helped me out a lot as to how I can pitch LSP to potential clients. It illustrated the advantages of LSP compared to typical meetings and/or group sessions. This section deepened my understanding of the Core Process and the different Application Techniques of LSP. As someone who has not undergone an LSP Facilitator Training, this part was very informational.
The second part, “Lego Serious Play: The Science Platform”, discussed the different theories and research that contribute to the validity of LSP. Most of the info here have been discussed in detail from my online research (particularly constructionism and constructivism). What I learned here was the concept of Flow, and the different types of imagination involved in LSP. This was also the part where the book demonstrated LSP through an individual exercise. With the exercise, I truly felt that people will really think differently with their hands building something rather than just talk it out. It’s true when they say that sometimes an experienced builder can have a harder time doing LSP than a Lego newbie.
The third part showed examples and case studies wherein LSP was used by different companies (even in the Education sector), what their needs were, and what their respective outcomes were after LSP intervention. It also clarified some misconceptions about LSP, and how LSP was being used within TLG, which was not as often as one would think for surprising but understandable reasons.
As a relatively new member of the LSP community with no experience yet in the methodology, the book was quite an eye opener for me. It gave me a preview of what the LSP is REALLY all about: how it can benefit businesses, how it works, and how it can be used in different ways in different types of organizations. For experienced LSP practitioners, the book can be used as part of their pitch when introducing LSP to an organization that has not heard of it. Either way it’s a very informational book that’s worth the price compared to other business books.