Category Archives: Serious Play Case Studies

Case studies of successful Lego Serious Play facilitation events

Virtual LEGO Serious Play Experience

LSP Hangout SnapshotIn the last 4 years I have used LEGO® Serious Play (aka LSP) very often and the result has been extraordinary. However, due to the growing style of working remotely, I started to ask myself if I could use LEGO SERIOUS PLAY when I am in a remote environment.  In the last 2 months, I set my goal to try it. The first thing I needed to find was a safe environment for trying it; then a few volunteers. I got them both. I really want to express my appreciation to the LEGO Serious Play Facilitator Network (www.seriousplaypro.com) for allowing me to set this up and of course to my volunteers, for dedicating between 60 and 90 min of their time to try it. THANK YOU Patricia, Gabriel, Marko and Catherine!

Finished with the introduction, now, let me share with you the results of this experience. I really think that LEGO SERIOUS PLAY has good potential in a remote environment; however, there are a few considerations to keep in mind that normally we don’t think about when we do it face to face. By the way, in this case, I am sharing the experience of 1-to-1 meeting with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, so if you are thinking of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY as a coaching or interview tool, it is for you. Let’s start.

Is LSP a Potential Remote Tool to Use in 1-to-1 Meetings?

Short answer, YES! Long answer, yes with some considerations. :) Continue reading

London_mini_meetup_01

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”.

London_mini_meetup_02

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?

Continue reading

Herman_Miller_Reach_01

Serious Play at Work – Building Collaboration Brick by Brick

By experimenting with bricks in our hands, we are making sense of what we know, and what we weren’t aware of, thus unleashing our potential.

Herman Miller wrote the following interesting blog post about LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

Often perceived as a game for children, block play can actually serve a serious purpose for adults, such as helping to devise a 15-month organisational plan or improving analytical competence.

Identifying goals
‘We are the species that play the most. We just forget this’, Per Kristiansen of Trivium said while explaining the rationale of playing with blocks at work. Through hands-on experience with blocks, ‘we can explore the reasons, themes and objectives of the given purpose-oriented scenarios and create new connections with our brains that turn intangible ideas into concrete forms’.

‘Sometimes, concrete actions can create situations’. Like Google, after they realised the shared narrative of their current and future identities, they undertook a set of actions that completely changed their behaviours.

Herman_Miller_Reach_02
Dominating is slightly different from leading. ‘Many leaders are very fast thinkers, so they are quicker to voice their ideas and then dominate, and this is appreciated’.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Omar_Bermudez_Agile_Sprint_1

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.

Continue reading