by Cambridge University Press
All Lego Serious Play friends should be excited about the new book that professors Loizos Heracleous and Claus Jacobs have just published.
The book “Crafting Strategy: Embodied Metaphors in Practice” focuses on creative approaches of strategy making.
Term “strategy” normally symbolizes future planning as top-down, structured, rational and analytical activity. However, in recent years we have observed that creative, bottom-up ways of strategy making are frequently much more effective. Frequently Lego Serious Play has proven to be a great tool to support in this. It helps to dismantle inner walls of organizations and release the potential of ground troops. Hence – the authors use numerous examples from Lego Serious Play retreats that the they have observed to provoke thoughts of the managers and suggest alternative ways for more creative strategy making.
The book is full of rich imagery – photos of LSP sessions and resulting discussions have been analyzed in depth. All in all – it gives lots of interesting ideas for anybody who is interested in digging deeper into Serious Play methodology.
The synopsis of the book tells:
“The rationalist approach to strategizing emphasizes analytical and convergent thinking. Without denying the importance of this approach, this book argues that strategists must learn to complement it with a more creative approach to strategizing that emphasizes synthetic and divergent ways of thinking. The theoretical underpinnings of this approach include embodied realism, interpretivism, practice theory, theory of play, design thinking, as well as discursive approaches such as metaphorical analysis, narrative analysis, dialogical analysis and hermeneutics. The book includes in-depth discussions of these theories and shows how they can be put into practice by presenting detailed analyses of embodied metaphors built by groups of agents with step-by-step explanations of how this process can be implemented and facilitated. The link between theory and practice is further supported by the inclusion of several vignettes that describe how this approach has been successfully employed in a number of organizations, including BASF and UNICEF.”
About the authors
Prof. Jacobs was part of the original team at the Swiss-based non-profit think tank Imagination Lab who helped to create the original concept of Lego Serious Play. They worked alongside with Lego Corporation and later with a number of international companies to carry out both theoretical and clinical research projects. Later Prof. Jacobs joined the University of St. Gallen where he has continued with his research activities on the subject.
Prof. Heracleous is the author of more than 50 articles published in leading journals and his wide range of academic interest spans from innovative strategising processes to culture and learning patterns in organisation change and development.
The book relies on research that the both Loizos Heracleous and Claus Jacobs have done over the years while they have helped people in several organizations to strategize using Lego Serious Play tools.
What do the others say?
“This is truly an amazing book. Combining meticulous scholarship with a plethora of illustrations, it succeeds in articulating an approach to strategy development that relies equally on philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Transiting such broad intellectual landscape is no small feat. These authors accomplish it in a way that will appeal to those who practice strategy as much as those who study it.”
– Steven W. Floyd, Frank S. Kaulback Professor of Commerce, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia.
“This is a persuasive manifesto for the role of ’embodied metaphors’ in strategy work. The book reflects its topic. It is utterly serious in both its theoretical grounding and its practical advice. Rich in vignettes and illustrations, the book is also a pleasure to read.”
– Richard Whittington, Professor of Strategic Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
The book is available for pre-order from Amazon.com
Thanks a lot, Marko, for sharing! This is indeed great stuff.