Tag Archives: Lego Serious Play

Huge Lego Bricks for Friday Fun

LEGO Education Soft Bricks Set 6033778
LEGO Education Soft Bricks Set 6033778

Something fun for Friday! We have written earlier posts about different types of bricks that Lego has produced, but I bet not many of you have used in your Lego Serious Play sessions something so substantial as LEGO Education SOFT Bricks Set (art no.6033778) containing 84 Bricks.

LEGO Education Soft Brick BendableThose bricks are huge, 8.9 x 18.8 x 5.75cm (3.5×7.4×2.25 inches) with studs excluded and weigh 132.5 grams for the standard 2 x 4 stud brick. The bricks are flexible and can be bent like on the picture. The set contains standard and curved LEGO® Soft elements that make it easy for preschool children to develop physical skills and spatial awareness as they build life-sized figures, walls, towers, and obstacle courses. However, a set or a two of them can also be just great fun part of your home or office decoration or activity when you facilitate with Lego Serious Play.

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements for “Lego Serious Play”

LinkedIn Top Skills Lego Serious PlayI would urge all Serious Play Pro community members who are active on LinkedIn to endorse their fellow facilitators for the “Lego Serious Play” skill. Doing this helps to increase the visibility of your abilities and to popularize the method more widely.

If you haven’t done so already then add “Lego Serious Play” to your skillset by “Edit Profile”, “Edit Skills” –> “Lego Serious Play” and press “Add”, “Save” and please activate check-boxes for: “I want to be endorsed” and “Include me in endorsement suggestions to my connections” and “Show me suggestions to endorse my connections”.

After doing this please visit all your friends and colleagues who are active in Lego Serious Play and click “Endorse” for their Lego Serious Play skills. Who will be the first to gain 99+ endorsements? :-)

One Lego brick at a time: using LSP to teach library skills

Becky Blunk
Becky Blunk

Becky Blunk from the University Campus Suffolk wrote the following case study about using Lego Serious Play in library context.

Learning Services at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) consistently strives to implement teaching and learning practices that are innovative, creative and effective in order to better engage with our dynamic population of students. Over the summer, we began developing a means to introduce Lego Serious Play (LSP) into our academic and library support teaching sessions – including facilitation training, purchasing the necessary kit, and working with academics to capitalise on the opportunity.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, LSP was developed by Lego, primarily for use in business settings to explore team building and group dynamics. Recently, the tool has been adapted for use within library and academic settings for similar purposes. However, Learning Services at UCS have decided to move beyond utilisation with staff and have looked toward investigating implications for using the tool directly with students, focusing on the cognitive links associated with exposure to LSP and skills acquisition related to library and academic services. In other words – if LSP positively influenced staff synergy within the global business sector, what was stopping it from providing a useful means of developing library and other learning skills amongst students?

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Lego Serious Play at CERN, Challenge Based innovation

CERN logoCBi is the latest iteration of an evolving experiment at CERN in Geneva. The CBi acronym stands for “Challenge Based innovation”, and the experiment pulls in students from several countries and multiple disciplines. The Scimpulse Foundation collaborates with CERN since 2013 and in this occasion we facilitate a concept design workshop.

It’s a sunny September morning in Mayrin, the outskirts of Geneva, right on the side of the ATLAS experiment building there is a new shell enclosure where a bunch of students practice and learn about innovation. Dr. Marco Manca is the coach of the team and he wants to make sure that they come out of the experience with a new mindset. That is where we come into play, literally.

The challenge is to design something that may enable blind people to perceive the surrounding environment; maybe some type of augmented sensory device. We use the LEGO Serious Play* method combined with a bit of acted scenario, getting the group into a divergent thinking flow to co-create solutions beyond what the standard game-storming or design thinking methods may produce.

They call themselves the “Heisenberg” team. Entering the room I can feel the expectation from the group, curiously sitting around an improvised set of tables. I skip any introduction and immediately go on guiding them through the first half hour of rigorous LSP language training.

CERN Challenge Based Innovation Lego Serious Play Exercise with Massimo Mercuri
CERN Challenge Based Innovation Lego Serious Play Exercise with Massimo Mercuri

They fly through the training! From building a tower in 20 seconds, to making a story and using metaphors in a matter of minutes; faster than any group I have seen so far.

After announcing that now we were going to get serious, I pose the first question: – I am going to ask you to go beyond the normal concept of blindness, starting from the opposite side … let’s build the model of:

what is Vision?

In a matter of minutes the models start coming up, It turns out that Vision is not only the capability to “See” with our eyes, but also an enabler, some sort of superpower that drives Decision, Choice, Selection, Trust, and Truth.

Our horizon expanded from the simple definition of “Sight”, to the more meaningful and all-inclusive concept of “Vision”.

From here we can start exploring the user point of view and find possible solutions, but that will require a simulation or a prototype, to have a first-hand experience of what the user may feel when is using a machine that helps hims or her in performing a simple task.

To know how we did it, keep on reading …

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Seriously Playing with Lego

Make Happy Playing with Lego
Make Happy Playing with Lego

Make Happy blog published the following post.

Last week the Make Happy team and a few friends were invited to become LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ (LSP) facilitators. LSP enables people to move away from linear thinking to creative problem solving through playing with lego. This style of play has two fundamental rules: everyone must build and everyone must tell their story.

Building a strategy from lego was great, especially as we found that one idea can be constructed and interpreted in so many different ways. When the time came to tell the story of your build, it was a big confidence boost to see that everyone was actively engaged and listening to your opinion.

Using lego was also brilliant in aiding innovation and creativity to what originally seemed like such a solid topic, such as a team’s strength. We were able to modify and improve upon our original build instantly by changing a few bricks or components. It meant we could test our ideas in the moment and adapt them till we were satisfied. I had such a fantastic time doing the workshop and it has inspired me to view decision making and my thought structure in a completely new way.

We also learnt that you cannot have the same outcome by just using LEGO® alone. Facilitating this process is a skill that has been learnt through the psychoanalysis of STRATEGIC PLAY™. The Make Happy office is now a full team of LSP fantastic facilitators.

This IS Serious

Becky Blunk from the University Campus Suffolk wrote the following fun blog post about Lego Serious Play.

For those of you who know me best or even slightly more than a little, I am pretty good at pretending to be “serious.” I almost always wear heels at work, pants (excuse me, trousers) are for the weekend, lunch breaks are for the birds, and play has no place indoors and certainly not as a teaching/learning tool. I am a grown woman. I do not “play.”

Lego Friends Girl

Oh, how wrong I have been!  In my previous blogpost I mentioned the i2c2 conference (and have since gone on about to anyone within earshot as though I were selling stock in it), but purposely left out my experience attending the Lego Serious Play (LSP) session so that I could fully reflect on it and, more importantly, try to connect the dots between feeling utterly lacking in confidence (how will I possibly build something that is a metaphor for what I do?) to researching the science behind it in order to develop a paper, asking for funding to incorporate it into our library teaching sessions.  Truth be told, and believe me, I’ve told everyone, I wanted nothing to do with LSP and wrote it off as another fad librarians were waxing on about in an attempt to build a case for legitimacy.  Unfortunately for me, my preconceptions were no match for the brilliant team (Meg Westbury, Andy Priestner and Matt Borg) facilitating the session at i2c2.

Like holding a glass of wine at a party where you hardly know anyone, having something to do with my hands, such as touch, build and modify bricks of Lego within a group setting at i2c2 completely alleviated the pressure I so often feel in presenting myself as a competent, interesting individual with at least some grasp of the English language.  My doorbell had been rung.  Not only that, I had the feeling that there was more (much more), perhaps even a “science,” if you will, that would be able to explain what happened between my hands and brain that gave me a different way of seeing that which I considered problematic within my profession.  Further investigation was going to be necessary.

The majority of documentation related to LSP has now been made open source, with both the User Requirements with Lego and The Science of Lego Serious Play, outlining the basic philosophy and design methods for activities, made freely available to the public; however, Dr. Alison James has gone further in the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education to show how the mechanics of utilising LSP infuses learning theory and reflective practice, focusing on how the marriage of play and creativity allow for students to think differently, regardless of their course area.

Although Dr. James explains engagement with LSP within a creative arts context, the article perfectly describes my own experience and offers explanations as to why LSP provides more than merely an opportunity to try something unconventional for the purpose of ticking some boxes related to a university teaching and learning strategy.  A big believer in the validity of constructivist educational philosophy, it makes perfect sense to me that, as Dr. James explains, our hands are central to learning and thinking often starts with our hands.  Therefore, using our hands to build with Lego, regardless of the end product, provides a more rich experience that directly connects our sense of touch and cognitive processes that thinking alone simply does not measure up to.

Not only does LSP confront the idea that learning activities do not necessarily have to equate to more traditional academic activities, such as writing or data analysis, but that LSP is something anyone can do- even this very “serious” librarian.  LSP also reiterates more divergent outcomes for learning- that there is not one single “right” answer- a concept many students struggle with upon entering university.

So how will we use LSP to help students within the library setting?  My colleague, Sarah Robinson and I are not completely sure- BUT we are beginning to look the types of skills and support our students and academics frequently request sessions for and start from there.  We’d like to figure out a way in which LSP could be incorporated to teach referencing and plagiarism, but also, perhaps developing sessions in which students could build models describing challenges they face writing their dissertation, specifically- finding information for literature reviews.  It’s all very exciting and I intend to keep everyone informed of our progress as we, well, progress.  Once we secure a few funds for training and actual Lego kits (oh yeah, we’ll probably need those), we’ll be set to start building our framework.  Who knows, I may even wear my dusty old Chuck Taylors (circa 2003) to our inaugural session!