“We really have enjoyed working with the Lego Serious Play method and materials! Great tool, and great results! Thank you so much for helping us out! But for our next workshop we want to do something else, because we have done this, already.”
Sounds familiair to you? How do you respond to clients who tell you this? It sometimes happens to me, and it fascinates me a lot.
I appreciate you bringing this up. It’s very familiar. We (the community) would all like LSP to be *the* tool to use – every time;
– “Have a problem? Bring out the LSP bricks!”
I’m afraid clients who state “we’ve done it before, let’s do something else” haven’t quite understood the point. Either it hasn’t been explained to them, the workshop has not been done correctly (i.e. more of an “entertaining” activity than an actual workshop with tangible results), or they have simply failed “to see the light”. Anyhow, when they take this stand, it can be hard to turn them around. Perhaps an analogy could help? Do they stop having meetings since they have done it before – and maybe even *not* liked it? Do they think there is a vast repository of fun activities that actually work? There is a lot of research behind the LSP methodology compared to other tools. This might be the time to explain that to them.
What Erik says. Apparently they focussed more on the method than on the results. And I like this quote Erik uses: “Do they stop having meetings since they have done it before?” :-) Still: when I am asked this question I sometimes convince them to still use LEGO, but there are more methods possible, so I won’t just stick to LSP but try to offer something that suits their challenge. By the way: I have some real ambassadors for LSP who have done multiple sessions on multiple occasions now, but usually with different groups/teams, never the same.
Erik beat me to it. I was going to use the metaphor of a box set of spanners, which serves a purpose once and then would you just throw it out because you’ve already used it. Then I thought of a car. Do you buy a car, drive it somewhere, then leave it? “Yeah well, the internal combustion engine driving a four-wheeled vehicle was useful, but next time I want to take my family on a road trip, I’ll find another solution.”
Ironically, I am so lousy at manual work that I usually buy the appropriate tool after I need it and then lose it before I next need it. But, no, it really doesn’t make sense in training up your staff and potentially purchasing LEGO bricks to then never use the methodology again.
Regarding the “entertainment” element, my view would be that this is not LSP – it using LEGO bricks for an icebreaker, or something.
Its great you brought this up Onno as I frequently ask this question whether in the Billund or Asia community gatherings or just on chat forums with other facilitators.
In my experience the “it was great but can we do something else next time” is the norm not the exception. As per Obno and other facilitators concerns this comes up constantly.
I do about 4 to 8 LSP work shops a month, quite a few with the same client but ALWAYS DIFFERENT participants. Overall the post workshop evaluation is that it was brilliant, highly recommended to others, but they would love to use another method next time. Its similar to Outbound Leadership, Team Challenge Build, Inmovation Matrices Games… ie. You can say you’ve used it and it was useful but once is enough.
Re the argument it is not being used right.. I have heard the same issue from LSPers all over the world, new and seasoned, so we cant all be using the method wrong. I’ve been a consultant for decades now and I find this true with many methids inclyding Mind Mapping, Gamestorming, etc.
I dont actually have an issue with it as the client tends to ask me to return even though using another method.
Re Eli’s point on a metaphor I’m also rather grasping for an appropriate one the closest being eating exotic cuisine once, loving it, recommending others to try but not myself till quite some time has passed.
By the way the first taste I had of participating in an LSP workshop was with Robert Rasmussen and it was fascinating. Would I want to go through one again as a participant? Rather unlikely.
Thanks to all of your replies. Good to know I am not the only one. And it sounds comforting that this also applies to other methods. Perhaps people want to be surprised all the time?
For the moment, I have convinced them to use LSP again: they were happy the last time, we have a different topic in the new workshop, the workshop program will be different, we will use other LSP-material, and we have a different location… Many things to be surprised about, I think ;-)