Non-certified facilitators

Viewing 2 posts - 11 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #11385
    Eli De Friend

    Hi All,
    This is a subject that I take dearly to heart. Some of us in the LSP community were practising years before we finally got certified and I am sure that there will always be a percentage of professionals who discover the methodology and start using it successfully long before they decide to attend a formal training session.

    I remember a chat with Robert Rasmussen in Zurich when he said that I wouldn’t understand Serious Play until I had been to Billund. At that time LSP training was only delivered in Billund or perhaps also Enfield, Massachussetts.

    At the time, living in Switzerland (very expensive place to live) given my budget and available time (a full time external consultant, plus manager within my firm), I couldn’t see how I would ever get officially trained and certified. Well, it happened in the context of training a team of internal facilitators for one of our clients, with the full support of the LEGO Group, which at the time was still owning and managing the IP and organising the training/certification process. The course was conducted at our client’s premises in Switzerland and I participated in the training session and was certified in the process.

    But I had not yet been to Billund.

    I did not yet know anything about the LEGO values, beyond what was written in the trademark guidelines.

    It was genuinely the case that I really only understood the ethics underpinning Serious Play, after I had spent some time in Billund, engaging with the senior management of LEGO and understanding the genuine commitment to children and education that are core values of the LEGO Group. Over time, I came to have increasingly more respect for the family that run the company and the values and ideals that they promote.

    I say this simply because, yes, technically, you can read the Open Source document and if you are smart and an able facilitator you can deliver useful workshops. However, while now it is possible to attend a training course with a Master Trainer almost anywhere in the world, it is quite possible that you won’t “get” it until you meet with other LSP facilitators, Master Trainers and representatives of the LEGO Group or LEGO Foundation in Billund. You have to understand why LSP was developed and why it was shared with the rest of the world. No method developed by McKinsey and Co or Harvard Business School will ever garner as much respect, because these other methods have been developed to make money for consultants, whereas LSP was developed in order to have a viable and sustainable strategy through the consultation of the views and active participation of every individual member of the organisation. There is a huge difference. One is profit-driven, the other is survival-driven.

    OK. I’d better stop there.

    All the best,



    Marko has made outstanding contributions to the organizational and personal development of tens of thousands of people, many directly but also many who have benefited from his “transfer of training” and his expertise and teachings. And his views on this question are most certainly appreciated.

    Over the past 30 years, that concept of “certification” has gone round and round. ISO 9000 started with the belief that a few dozen people could be certified to do those inspections. After a dozen years, the number of people certified was in the tens of thousands, and the certification process itself became sterile and inflexible. And, worse than that, what these trained certified inspectors did was require their inspected organizations to also implement inflexible, anti-innovative policies and procedures and corporate bureaucracies to maintain those inflexible procedures!

    I was personally advised from a senior member / friend in IAF that in getting their Certified Professional Facilitator certification, I should NOT do my normal kind of process, since it banged against their professional standards. Translating that to English, I ALWAYS would teach my participants in a Square Wheels training session how to facilitate with my images AND I would give them the toolkit as part of that training. But IAF was about Professional Facilitation and functionally keeping those facilitation secrets, well secret! I was told I would not pass certification if I trained the trained! (So, I did some dumb, simple thing and passed…)

    What we should be doing within this group and others is SUPPORTING people who will be working with others to have the optimal desired outcomes from the time spent in training. SO much training is measurable wasted (and generally lecture-oriented, where no on is actively involved or reflecting much about anything).

    What we do with LEGO (unless you are using powerpoint to train with LEGO) is get people actively and experientially engaged and involved, singularly and in small contributory, collaborative teams. THAT is what will generate reflection, considered alternatives, some cognitive dissonance around what they do and what they could do, and the peer support to try to do something differently.

    Yeah, they could listen to some TED talk or watch a training video. Does anyone actually think that will really CHANGE anything?

    Have FUN out There!

Viewing 2 posts - 11 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

©2009-2023 links professional facilitators using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology. It is not affiliated with LEGO. Check LEGO SERIOUS PLAY open source for details or get in touch with us.

See also our Privacy Policy and Frequently Asked Questions about LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

Send a question

We are a group of volunteers and may not respond right away. But soon! :-)


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account