In search for THE definition

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    Patrizia Bertini

    Hello everyone!

    The premise: I recently went to a workshop that encouraged people to ask stupid questions. So, I have been starting asking stupid questions and build on them.

    So, despite being engaged with the bricks by 5 years already, I have just realised that I could not find THE official definition of LSP.

    There are amazing definition out there, each of them focusing on a specific aspect of the methodology (perhaps those closer to the authors applications and interests, but could not find anything exhaustive enough.

    So, my stupid question of the day is: does an official definition of LSP exist? And by definition I mean something more than ‘methodology’?

    Your stupid question to me might be: Do we need it?
    And I think yes, I think we need some common grounds to diverge from.

    Any thoughts?

    Per Kristiansen

    hi Patrizia
    Your question is far from stupid, however it may have two sides to it:

    Do you mean what defines something as LEGO SERIOUS PLAY – in that case we would often turn to the core process. If one does not adhere to the core process, then it is not LSP

    Do you mean defining what it does or is, ie a method etc – in this case we often talk about it either as a langauge; or problem solving and dialogue method that unlocks the full potential. In our forthcoming book Robert and I talk about as a method that helps groups go beyond 80/20 meeting, helps break habitual thinking and helps to lead to unlock (potential and potential)

    As to do we need a definition, I do believe that agreen in what defines it is essential, and I venture to say building our time at LEGO we (The Association of Master Trainers) have settled on the core process. For defining what it does or is, this is probably also important, but may be more fluid, partly due to langauge differences, partly because as we all get more experiences about what the core process can do then we get a better and broader definition.

    This was as far as I could stretch my brain on a Saturday morning

    Play well ;-)

    Patrizia Bertini

    Thanks Per!

    Well, the moment you ways it’s a process, you define it, yet it’s vague.
    I feel LSP is a kind of elephant – hard to describe but easy to recognise when experienced.

    LEGO is not enough to define it in its essence, application varies. core values receive different emphasis…
    It’s like the tower/bridge exercise: we all know what those object are, yet we all come up with our own vision. So what makes a tower/bridge a tower/bridge? :)

    Would it be an interesting thing if we shared all the definition we find around and reflect on what are the keys – commonalities and differences?
    I was starting doing it, but it’s a hectic period to do it as lone, maybe we could do it together?

    Per Kristiansen

    hi Patrizia


    Could perhaps also be topic for a building exercise at a break out session at the LSP days later this year…

    A presto

    Patrizia Bertini

    I was thinking exactly the same thing :)
    It could be a very interesting experience, given the different and divergent applications we comply LSP for.
    So, trying to converge may be an interesting exercise!


    Marko Rillo

    Patrizia and Per,

    Thanks to both of you for a great discussion. It might be indeed a good idea to gather in September and even spend some time on definition building. However, if we are unable to define the LSP for our purpose more precisely then I would say that there is nothing wrong with that either. If we are not too strict in our expression on what the method is or stands for, it allows for the community to be more innovative in trying out new things.

    I would hardly think that Omar would have been open to share with us his ideas about using the LSP in job interview process if we would have said that “This is not LSP”. Also – the combination of LSP and Business Model Canvas probably falls under a similar category. And finally – Patrizia – your own ideas of interviewing people from Palestine would be “on a borderline” to some of what the LSP is or is not.

    I understand that for many the notion of LSP is driven by the love of “the Brick”. However, not too long ago Pete Smith asked whether even the bricks are essential for the facilitation that would follow the principles of Lego Serious Play:

    Looking at some interesting communities out there – there are many communities who thrive exactly because no singular preconceived notion or definition of their activities exist to frame their mind. I would say that it is also a great feature of our community that people hold different notions and definitions in their minds when they talk about the LSP and thereby allow innovative ideas to be born. What do you think?

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