Category Archives: Serious Play Case Studies

Case studies of successful Lego Serious Play facilitation events

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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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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.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY - Models of Good Citizen

Lego® Serious Play® Workshop @ EPL

This post was originally published at Project Citizen blog

On April 16, 2015, 40 engaged citizens came together at the Stanley Milner Public Library for an afternoon of thought-provoking discussion and Lego® Serious Play® making of what inclusive citizenship can look like in action. The group consisted of citizens with disabilities, University of Alberta Community Service-Learning students and leaders, Skills Society community support workers, as well as community members and leaders from the Edmonton Public Library.

The afternoon was kicked off by Robin Mazumder, a passionate and down-to-earth community builder dedicated to helping make Edmonton a fun, vibrant, and socially inclusive city. Robin currently serves as New Venture Support Specialist at NAIT, Instructor at MacEwan University’s Faculty of Health and Community Studies (Therapist Assistant Program), and board member with Make Something Edmonton. It is no surprise that Robin was one of Avenue Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014, and we were thrilled to have him join us for this workshop and share his experiences and insights about how to strengthen local communities. Robin shared that, now more than ever, anyone who has a good idea to make Edmonton better can make it happen… and there is a lot of help available from the community and organizations like Make Something Edmonton and CityLab.

Throughout the day, graphic illustrator Miriam Mahnic (Community Development Officer with Alberta Culture and Tourism) took everyone’s ideas and brought them to life in a series of realtime murals.

Good Citizen Workshop Graphic Print

Following Robin Mazumder’s presentation, Skills Society’s Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation Ben Weinlick (twitter:@weinbenlick) from Think Jar Collective led our collective through a series of Lego® Serious Play®  story-making activities. Based on research which shows that this kind of hands-on/minds-on learning produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities, the Lego® Serious Play® methodology deepens the reflection process and supports an effective dialogue.

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Retrospective and Creativity with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

Hello everyone, here is what I was waiting for some time, one retro with LEGO® in first hand. If you want my resume in one phrase, here is: “It was a FANTASTIC retrospective”.

First of all I was looking something funny to do with the team. Something where we could learn the great work we are able to do if we work together. Something where, as scrum master, allow me to show the team the importance of be creative, spontaneous, and simple. After some reading, I started to think that LEGO® games could help with that. I started to search for games and I realized that there is not a lot of documented LEGO® games.

At the end, I really like one of the games from tastycupcakes with a very small adaptation, and the result was more of what I was expected. This post is to share my retrospective experience with you.

The rules of the game:

  • Team needs to come up with one personage, it could be a very known personage, it could be a cartoon or a film personage.
  • Team needs to come up with an object and a color.
  • Team will run 3 sprints, 12 minutes each one (consisting of: 2 min plan + 7 min build + 3 min review)
  • For a team of 3 people, in this retrospective, I decided to ask for 4 scenes, they needed to be sure that the history had one start, one end, and the history needed to be based in the story goal

Retrospective ‘s  “Definition of Done” (DoD):

  • The team need to add one action at least in each scene
  • One picture per scene

The team’s personage was in this case “Homer Simpson”, the object was an “table”, and the color was “blue”. The first sprint run and people start to plan, create and present. After the pictures, the Product Owner – PO (I play that role) started to listen the history, very fun and creative.

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Making LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Apostles – Case Study of Banking

Considiom LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Madrid
Considiom LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Madrid

“I  appreciate all the work and effort you put into today’s session with my team. It was without doubt original and innovative and above all, it fulfilled my objectives. You can consider me to be a Lego Serious Play apostle and I will do all I can to recommend your methodology to both teams in my company and indeed to other companies, should the opportunity arise.”

This is feedback from the manager of a team of 15 people following an 8 hour Lego Serious Play workshop we did recently.

Sector: Financial / Banking

Workshop Objectives:

  • Based on the overall company objectives, identify personal objectives for each team member
  • Align the individual objectives so that they become common team objectives for the next year
  • Identify all the obstacles to reaching the annual objectives
  • Find solutions to the main obstacles
  • Brainstorm how the team can improve its overall performance
  • Unite and strengthen the team and develop closer relationships and ties between its members

Methodology

  • We built a workshop exclusively around Lego Serious Play – working with both individual and group models
  • We also combined the model building with some more well known training concepts (SWOT analysis and Circles of Control and Influence) to map what they built

The Results

  • We met all the objectives set out by the client
  • We had full involvement from all participants throughout the whole day
  • Although there were some difficult “crucial conversations”, participants enjoyed the experience
  • By the end of the day, the team had a full understanding of how they performed and how they could improve
  • An improvement in the sense of “team spirit” was noticeable by the end of the workshop, and even more so two weeks later at a follow up meeting.

The following phrase came up during the workshop and captures very well the overall result: “we are much more a team than I thought we were”

Lego Serious Play works!

This was originally published by Alan McShane on the Considiom Blog

PhD Journey by Megan Beech

Using Lego Serious Play to explore my PhD research journey

@Megan_Beech wrote about her experience in taking part in a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY session where she explored her PhD research journey

Today I was lucky enough to get a place on a Lego Serious Play workshop run by David Gauntlett, who uses lego to conduct all kinds of interesting research in Media, Art and Design at the University of Westminster.

The aim of the session was to explore the use of Lego as a tool for gathering qualitative data during the research process, as well as reflecting upon my own PhD experiences so far and learning from other people’s experiences.

Using Lego for metaphorical modelling

David explained that the idea behind Lego Serious Play is that by using a visual aid the participants are encouraged to think about their experiences and opinions and represent them in model form. The idea is that it gives people a new way to express and explore complex subjects and ideas through a creative method.

As my PhD research is focused on exploring experiences and understandings of research impact (undoubtedly a very complex and often contentious issue), I thought this could be a useful tool for me to use during my data gathering stage.

Getting used to building with Lego

Stompocopter by Megan Beech
Stompocopter by Megan Beech

We started out by building a free form creature, which could be any life form, as realistic or fantastical as you like. This stage allowed us to become familiar with the Lego pieces and to explore how everything could be used and fitted together. I really enjoyed this, and made the Stompocopter (obviously trademarked, don’t go nicking my ideas all you toy companies out there), with a working helicopter tail and huge stompy feet. Continue reading