Tag Archives: Rory O’Connor

Lego Serious Play and Business Modelling

In the light of upcoming training on combining Lego Serious Play methodology with Business Model Canvas – Serious Play Pro community members have come to ask what is this all about. I suggest that Per Kristiansen and Michel Cloosterman may comment about further practical details, but I will kick off the discussion about the core concepts.

Business Model Generation and Lego Serious Play combo
Business Model Generation and Lego Serious Play combo

There have been a number of attempts to combine visual thinking with other tools. Graphic facilitation hand in hand with world cafe. Gamification solutions with analytical tools.

It is probably a fascinating question – what do you get when you put together two visual techniques – come the play: business model canvas and Lego Serious Play!

The Essence

Several people have tried and tested the combination. Most tell about achieving powerful results. The Essence of combining the two methods side by side is to assist the participants in the session to focus on elaborating their business ideas.

During “old times” a group of people brainstormed about the business idea and wrote the top of the creme on a flip-chart or spent days doing internet searches and Excel tweaking to come up with a 30-page business plan that tries to imagine the future.

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Business model canvassing gives a framework to describe the most important building blocks of your existing business or fledgling business idea in a quick, simple, yet comprehensive manner.

The business model canvas includes the core information about your “product”, your “market” and your value creation structure – how do you use your resources the best possible way to create something new and valuable to the world for which enough customers are willing to pay. The method works in an intuitive manner. Depending on the complexity of your business idea you can may jot down the core elements of your business model on a canvas in 15-30 minutes. The easy way is to just download the business model canvas poster and give it a go. The canvas has also been rethought for start-up businesses by Ash Maurya who has labelled the simplified version Lean Canvas – if you need something just for an easy testing.

Lego Serious Play

Lego Serious Play is there to metaphorically give your brain a hand. With the help of Lego bricks the participants build their understanding of key elements of the business models – typical customers, primary sales channels, resources and partners. They can use the results of their construction to describe their value offering, cost structure and revenue streams.

Group working with Lego Serious Play
Group Discussing Lego Serious Play Landscape

While we all have been victims of a paralysis of analysis, the Lego bricks can help to free our imagination and think about the things that we did not know that we knew before. Based on the guidance of a skillful facilitator the participants are urged to stop holding meetings with themselves and instead just start building. Frequently the understanding about certain core issues in the upcoming business model representation emerges through the very action of building something.

Furthermore – the Lego Serious Play can also activate the introverts among the groups who in a normal marker-whiteboard situation would have held themselves back.

The participants’ feedback is there to prove us that a comprehensive business ideation framework married to a powerful facilitation methodology provides you with unique and valuable insights in making the best of your business idea.

To test it out – just buy a bunch of bricks and find out!

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Business Model Generation and LEGO(r) SERIOUS PLAY(r)

Check out this blog post by Rory O’Connor. Rory is a trained LSP facilitator and now an entrepreneur running a start up in Ireland. I ran a workshop with his team where we used LEGO SERIOUS PLAY as the method to explore and develop their business model. We used the canvas developed by Osterwalder, Rory will be integrating the results into the LEAN Canvas developed by Ash Maurrya.

This is Rory’s first post on the session on his website

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