LSP workshop with 19 participants

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    Greet Maeyaert


    I’m struggling with a workshop I prepare with 19 participants, most of them are entrepreneurs. The participants do not know each other yet, but have engaged in a project for 2 years where they will meet each other every month to discuss specific topics. The goal of the 1,5 days workshop is two-fold: to get to know each other and to get insight in their own business. So I have foreseen a combination of exercises on the personal identity and with the Business Model Canvas. However the group is too large to facilitate them as 1 group: 19 participants. But it is crucial they get to know each other better, so I would prefer not to split up the group. But then it will be very hard to keep them into flow, I guess. So, if you would have suggestions on how to work on teambuilding and keeping the participants in flow with a group of 19 participants, I would really love to hear them! Thanks in advance for your help!

    Wiro Kuipers

    Just to go short: you could work in two to four smaller groups and try to focus on your role as a facilitator solely. That would mean you won’t be able to listen to every story being told, nor that you can intervene immediately. If that’s not what you want: arrange an extra facilitator. I wouldn’t try to put 19 people together on one table, if I was you. I understand that you want all people to get to know each other, not just the ones they happen to be with on one table. So why don’t you just let people rotate? That wouldn’t be to difficult, I guess – and might even bring an extra boost of energy into the room. So far my two cents. If you wish to discuss the way to do this in detail, feel free to contact me.

    Michel Cloosterman

    Hi Greet,

    Like Wiro said. It is very well possible to work in smaller groups and focus on your role as facilitator. The thing is that you probably want to make sure that they can work on their own. Therefore, make sure that they do enough skills building. And make sure they ‘stick’ to the proces so that everyone gets the change to tell the whole story.
    Finally …and yes. When you want them to work on a canvas way of building their business .. it would be nice if one of your colleagues could assist you.
    Good luck ! It’s great to work on such an assigment. What a challenge !! Greatings, Michel


    Agree with the aboves. How it could work is by modifying the World Cafe method:

    Divide into 3 or 4 groups.

    Each group builds.. shares and reflects. +/-1 hour

    Half of each table then rotates to another table with their Lego and repeats sharing and reflecting with the half of the group left at that table.

    If 3 groups with 6 to 7 each then this would take approx 30 to 40 minutes each rotation which equals 60 to 80 minutes total plus. Make sure that each half of each group gets to table switch at least once. You need to plan this sequence.

    To sell this activity you say that in each reiteration they will get new input from others and also are stimulated to come up with new reflections. Simply standing up and moving to another table or receiving visitors creates anticipation.

    At the end put all models on one large table and ask them to combine all similar meaning models into one and you are left with a group of unique models. 

    You can then do landscaping or Connections or Prioritisation or Impact Testing as a whole Group. Groupthink now takes place in distinct chunks of Lego model groups. I find it to be quite effective as everyone has been brought up to the same level of knowledge and discussions of all the models and they can advance as a group of 20 people to find common solutions and outcomes.

    I just did one last week with 100 people and 2 days ago with 50.. they semmed very happy with the result.

    There are pictures in facebook Lego Serious Play in Indonesia.


    Wiro Kuipers

    Cool addition Sebastian. I could even imagine people to continue building on a model someone else started, or improving and extending a shared model the people on the table built at first instance.

    Eli De Friend

    Hi Greet,
    I concur with everything said previously, use smaller groups at separate tables, but all in the same room. Have table groups present their shared models to each other. Use World Café method or at least the mixing and hosting elements to develop a more generalised perception and understanding throughout the group.

    The one thing I would add, is that with 19 people, you probably need at least one co-facilitator. I’m sure that everyone will agree that you can’t really attend to the individual level of engagement of each individual participant, if you are managing a group of 19.

    There are plenty of facilitators in Belgium, as well as Dutch who are happy to pop across the border to lend a helping hand.

    Why don’t you reach out to this network?

    All the best,



    Concur with Eli.. Hi buddy.. howzzitgoin..
    Re cofacilitation .yes.. you would need assistance even if just to make sure the core process steps are adhered to and flow is maintained. As there are no certified LSP facilitators here other than me, I use Robert’s ‘Assistants Guidelines’ for LSP to prep cofacilitators for the projects. I still lead everything but roam around and the assistants call me over for any issues.
    So far this has worked well.
    Ps .. just realised you have 1.5 days… this should be ample..
    Re the Business Canvas Model.. tried this last month and it appears that LSP is good for individual BCM segment discussions .. but for overall helicopter view.. the BCM on the wall with color coded PostIts rearrangement is much more efficient. It also creates a nice variation dynamic for participants and seems to stimulate their thinking better. They would do something on the board then test it out on Lego or vice versa. This assists with clarity and focus..

    Greet Maeyaert

    Thank you all for your feedback ! It’s obvious I have to let go of the idea not to split up the group. I like the idea of using the World Cafe method as an alternative. There are 3 “facilitators” in the group who have no LSP experience, but I think I will give them the assistant’s role. Regarding the BMC, I know I have not enough time for that, but the goal is to start with it during the 1,5 days and continue with the BMC exercise during multiple evening sessions. So, that should do it…

    Wiro Kuipers

    When you just use the Value Proposition Canvas and make people build WHAT they solve (or what needs they fulfill) for WHO, then you have plenty time.

    Greet Maeyaert

    @Sebastian, I’m interested in the ‘Assistant’s Guidelines’ for LSP. Are they publicly available ?

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