July 16, 2020 in Serious Play Library
Many thanks to Mireia Montané-Balagué, Professor at the EADA Business School in Barcelona who translated the book Serious Work to Spanish language. Serious Work book is now available in three languages via Amazon:
- English: Serious Work: How to Facilitate Meetings & Workshops Using the Lego Serious Play method
- Spanish: SERIOUS WORK CÓMO FACILITAR REUNIONES & TALLERES CON EL MÉTODO LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
- German: Serious Work: Meetings und Workshops mit der Lego® Serious Play® Methode moderieren (German Edition)
SERIOUS WORK CÓMO FACILITAR REUNIONES & TALLERES CON EL MÉTODO LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
June 23, 2020 in Serious Play Discussion
If you wish to ask any questions about LEGO Serious Play methodology then the fastest ways are to either register here at the SeriousPlayPro.com/register and post your question in the discussion forum or enter the Slack Group to say hi
June 15, 2020 in Serious Play Discussion
Mary Poffenroth wrote this article at Forbes today suggesting LEGO Serious Play for virtual meetings
Sure, in-person offices are mostly on hold right now, but that doesn’t mean we all get to take a break on building vibrant cultures that retain our top talent. As we turn to a bigger virtual presence in everyday life, we’re redefining culture, both personal and professional. Technical solutions for remote gatherings is the easy part that we’ve mostly got a handle on by now. Our next step is to ensure virtual events are engaging.
Let’s face it, we’ve all used conference calls as a chance to do dishes, laundry, or basically anything else other than deeply listen and connect. As we shift to this new virtual ecosystem, that practice will cost time, money, and morale. Luckily, you don’t need a big budget to create a transformational experience for your remote team, just a bit of creativity and courage. Here are seven quick tips that you can apply today that are only limited by the creativity of you and your team.
For your next meeting, think about how you could guide your attendees through facilitated opportunities to build with their hands. Simple LEGO bricks and the LEGO Serious Play methodology could skyrocket the creativity and innovation of your next meeting. The more participants can engage in a comfortable and meaningful way, the bigger the takeaway will be.
March 6, 2020 in Serious Play Library
Sean Blair just published his second book on facilitating with LEGO Serious Play, which is targeted towards somewhat more experienced facilitators. The title of the book is: Mastering the LEGO Serious Play Method: 44 Facilitation Techniques for Trained LEGO Serious Play Facilitators
Sean Blair is one of the most experienced facilitators who also runs his successful facilitator training business Serious Work. We co authored 4 years ago the book Serious Work. How to Facilitate Meetings and Workshops with LEGO Serious Play method.
I have read this book and as Sean kindly asked me to write the foreword then I have also published it here for our community members.
Mastering the LEGO Serious Play Method – the Foreword
About five years ago, via SeriousPlayPro.com, Sean reached out asking for help on a workshop challenge he faced. He was already a very experienced and acclaimed facilitator who had recently added LEGO Serious Play to his toolset.
Sean said in our first Skype conversation: “I have this important workshop coming up with 300 people where I want to use LEGO Serious Play, but I am not sure it would work out, as I only have an hour…”
Sean had completed a full 4-day training on LEGO Serious Play and while he had witnessed a master trainer talking about facilitation, he did not get an opportunity to practice.
We discussed his upcoming workshop, I made some suggestions and I told him to go for it, I knew it would be great! Sean did, and indeed – the event delivered great outcomes.
Since then we became friends and exchanged our professional experience on various LEGO Serious Play projects. About a year later this ping-pong of ideas resulted in a book titled “SERIOUSWORK, How to Facilitate Meetings & Workshops Using the LEGO Serious Play Method.”
I am glad to see that while LEGO Serious Play methodology is already two decades old – to date, the SERIOUSWORK book has remained the only hands-on publication to help the newcomer get started with the LEGO Serious Play method. SERIOUSWORK would not have been possible without Sean’s great ideas, relentless enthusiasm to write handful of pages every day and his good eye for design.
In addition to his daily work as a facilitator and trainer, Sean has constantly been an avid community builder. He was the first person to initiate the LEGO Serious Play MeetUps where he started sharing his experience. I admire his ability to produce case studies of previous workshops in blogs and social media.
It is lovely to see that no more than four years since our first book, he has topped up his energy to summarize a batch of clever lessons to kindly share his wisdom in another volume that you are holding in your hands.
What is Interesting in Mastering LEGO Serious Play?
The first book, SERIOUSWORK, focused on simple LEGO Serious Play workshops. However, the life of a facilitator is never simple. Every facilitation situation is new. Facilitators need to be mindful about updating their skills, about reflecting their personality and about adapting their presence. Therefore, the journey towards facilitation mastery never ends.
Sean has now untangled some of those complexities in the book that you are holding in your hands. There are three things that fascinate me about “Mastering the LEGO Serious Play Method” book.
First, the attention to the consistency of workshop design. In an age where bad meetings are commonplace, it is truly refreshing that Sean emphasizes the need to build strong internal logic and linkages between workshop objectives, build questions, reflection questions and workshop outputs. Tying all four elements closely together is a way of ensuring that meetings will be productive.
Second, I like the section in this book where he explains LEGO Serious Play Build Level 2: Shared Model building. Working on shared model creation is a messy process. Or as facilitation guru Sam Kaner has called it: facilitating through “the groan zone”. Part of shared model building is where participants attempt to understand each other to find common ground. Part of it is where they generate new ideas.
Given the conflicting goals in this part of the workshop, shared model building is frequently frustrating for the participants and challenging for the facilitator. Sean has suggested several practical ideas on how to make the process more manageable.
Third, facilitators are often recruited for results. This may create a role conflict where they become too forceful to get to results. This is a good reminder for most facilitators – to facilitate people rather than to facilitate the process.
Sean has listed several useful tips on how to take it easy and stay “clean” as a facilitator by acting more like a conductor of the orchestra, who is not attempting to play all the instruments.
I love the passion for facilitation that Sean shows throughout this book. I am certain that by reviewing his tips from time to time, every seasoned LEGO Serious Play professional can remind themselves on how to truly progress towards mastery of their skill.
You may buy the book via Amazon
March 2, 2020 in Serious Play Discussion
Johan Roos and Victor Nilsson have just published a survey based academic article that is probably of interest to many LEGO Serious Play facililitators because they recently got in touch with many of us asking for our permission to run some impartial surveys among the participants that had recently attended our meetings or workshops using LEGO Serious Play method.
The title of the article is “Driving Organizational Readiness for Change through Strategic Workshops” and it is now available via International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 1-28. https://doi.org/10.18646/2056.71.20-001
Change initiatives in organizations often fail because people are neither committed to nor convinced they can implement the change successfully. The change challenge is a practical problem for most leaders. The vast literature on change management offers insights into obstacles to change and how to overcome them, and the emerging literature on readiness for change offers a plethora of instruments for how to assess it, though primarily in health care settings. However, there is limited advice about how to design workshops around new initiatives in organizations to increase readiness for change. To address this problem, we developed a model of the drivers of change readiness, based on survey data from 374 participants in 69 independently facilitated workshops to test hypotheses. The findings show which constructs have the most predictive power. These results have important implications for how to design and facilitate workshops that increase participants’ readiness for change. The study makes several contributions to the theory and practice of creating shared readiness for change.
October 21, 2019 in Serious Play Discussion
This booklet is available as an open source guidebook that you can download here for free:Download Brochure Using LEGO For University Learning (PDF)
Both Alison and Chrissi have been long time users of LEGO Serious Play methodology in academic setting and they also have been prolific writers describing their experience in this field extensively. Let me just point out three interesting sources that I have looked at.
The most interesting has been the book The Power of Play in Higher Education – Creativity in Tertiary Learning, which was a serious endeavour on 359 pages. It had 39 different articles ranging from using tabletop games, playful writing and poetry, theatrical games. There are 3 articles that also focus on the use of LEGO and LEGO Serious Play methodology:
- Our Learning Journey with LEGO® by James, Alison (et al.) – Pages 239-242
- Using LEGO® to Explore ‘Professional Love’ as an Element of Youth Work Practice—Opportunities and Obstacles by Purcell, Martin E. – Pages 243-245
- Creating LEGO® Representations of Theory by Simmons, Nicola – Pages 247-249
which is available via Amazon: The Power of Play in Higher Education: Creativity in Tertiary Learning
Another book that Alison James wrote together with Stephen Brookfield was Engaging Imagination – helping students become creative and reflective thinkers.
Many years ago I wrote this blog post to summarize her earlier work: Lego Serious Play: a Three-Dimensional Approach to Learning Development.
IJMAR issue on LEGO Serious Play
Alison and Chrissi also have published an IJMAR special issue on LEGO Serious Play: https://seriousplaypro.com/2019/01/06/lsp-research-special-issue/ In this release, they have invited a number of scholars to describe their use cases of LEGO Serious Play in research practice.
June 26, 2019 in Serious Play Discussion
This very useful material was prepared by Lorenzo Cantoni, Marco Faré and Elisabetta Frick of Università della Svizzera italiana (University of Lugano, Switzerland) in May 2011 and it was uploaded to the webatelier.net website, which sadly no longer functions. Since the document was originally published as Open Source, I have made it freely available here.