How to allow nearly 600 people to stay focused for 3 hours, with real moments of silence, and walk away with 70 chosen ideas (of 280) to energize their association meetings?


The APM (Management Improvement Association) brings together Francophone leaders of companies employing more than 10 employees to sustainably grow their business: 6,700 members in a network of 340 clubs in 22 countries. This network is independent, non-political and not-for-business network.

The objective of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop

The LEGO® Serious Play® workshop we organized was a synthesis of a 3-day seminar which allowed for the first time all club chairmen, leaders and experts to meet and share their practices. Our goal was to bring out the best ideas to innovate and boost club meetings.

Facilitation of the event

We facilitated a workshop with 560 participants consisting of club chairmen and leaders.

  • We spread out into 5 different rooms on 3 floors, with a video and audio broadcast connection into each room
  • We delivered 2 LEGO Window exploration bags per person
  • People were divided into tables of 8 persons and they were regrouped during two different periods
  • “Gems” posters were pasted on the walls of different rooms to collect, choose and present the best ideas.

What happened

We were 2 facilitated in this 3 hours workshop and we sliced the workshop into 9 sections:

Period no 1

During the first period, the participants were gathered by function into 35 chairman tables and 35 leader tables:

  • Part 1: Brief introduction on the history of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. We thereafter gave the “Tower exercise” with a twist. The participants had to build the tower in pairs, but everybody had to keep one hand behind their back.
  • Part 2: Brief overview about the use of metaphors and facilitation process. We then gave the exercise “Explain this” with the construction of a free pattern. Participants explained how their models represented the specifics of their clubs.
  • Part 3: Third exercise – building a representative model of a “our successful club meeting.” Both models were kept for the second period.
Period no 2: table change for half of the participants

After a short break we asked the participants to pair up between chairmen and leaders and created thereby 70 tables with changed members – 4 pairs of chairmen or leaders

  • Part 4: One participant presented the 1st model (“my club”) to the new teammate and they both constructed a club representative shared model (one shared model per chairman / leader)
  • Part 5: Again, one participant presented the 2nd model built before the break (“successful club meeting”) and they rebuilt the model to represent an idea how to improve their next club meetings.
  • Part 6: Presentation to other pairs of the table. Thereafter the table members voted with a brick per person  to choose one “Gem” of their table – the best idea of their table that was presented on the poster.
  • Part 7: The pairs whose idea was chosen filled a “Gem” poster on the wall to explain the idea.
  • Part 8:Pairs visited the “Gems” wall to choose three best ideas that can be implemented in their club the soonest.
  • Part 9: Pair took its model “club specificity” onto a large table to create a full giant model (“landscape”) representing the whole diversity and richness of all the clubs who gathered together for the event.

What did we learn?

  • Co-construction of upstream facilitation process with the organizers that allowed us to fully adapt to the public’s expectations
  • No difficulty in holding the timing
  • 100% attentive, concentrated and involved people
  • Moments of silence in the rooms that facilitators may have had during the previous 2 days
  • Representations in pairs sometimes very similar
  • Very good exchange between participants with excellent listening quality
  • Participants were excited about the method and ideas they have produced.



  1. @SeanBlair 9 years ago

    Patrice – thanks for sharing this brilliant case study… LSP with large groups is something I’m interested in, and your story is very heartening indeed. – Kindly Sean

  2. Onno Kruitwagen 9 years ago

    Great story, thanks for sharing!

  3. Gabriel 9 years ago

    Patrice, amazing case study! Lots to learn from this experience. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Martin van Dijken 9 years ago

    Wow, Patrice, really cool session!

    Very curious, how many facilitators did you gather?

  5. Author
    Patrice Lerouge 9 years ago

    We were just 2 facilitators

  6. Martin van Dijken 9 years ago

    Wow, thought I read as much, but amazed. How did you get people in the right creative mood across 5 rooms? How did you manage to get them to ask the right questions? Did you guide any of the rooms specifically or just swap back and forth?

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