2018 LSP Annual Unconference in Whistler, Canada

December 4, 2018 in Pro Community

The 4th Annual Unconference and LSP meeting 2018: Another Bold Hit!

This year, once again, our community gathered in the Alpine resort village of Whistler to share ideas, connect, and build capacity. The amazing Nita Lake Lodge hosted us once again, delighting us with amazing food and drink to keep our bodies happy so our minds were fully engaged.

Like other years we ran this event in a true unconference style, where the only planned agenda items were Lunch, Coffee Break, and Dinner. The rest was up to the participants.

We launched the unconference this year by awarding our fist trophy to community member Melissa Dinwiddie, who collaborated with us and helped us to build the community network site. Yay Melissa!  * If you were trained by Strategic Play Group Ltd., and you don’t know about the community site – email us at hello@strategicplay.com

During the Unconference Our Community Members Presented:

  1. LSP and Design Thinking
  2. LSP and exploring nature
  3. Everything Duck – LSP and the Duck builds
  4. Micro Builds and Tiny Builds—no, they are not the same thing
  5. LSP for building your financial health
  6. How to position LSP—What are you selling, anyway?
  7. Ask me anything with Steve (also called the kissing booth)
  8. Psychotherapy and LSP with a psychiatrist -Dr Kas
  9. Session Lab—online agenda building system
  10. Welcome to the online community for trained Strategic Play and Play Strategy members
  11. The launch of the new LOGO certified by the Global Federation of LSP Master Trainers

We had a few extras this year to make the unconference even better. 

  • We added a Toy Store/Book Store where participants were able to run a table to showcase their products and books. Items included essential oils (perfectly blended formulas for creative thinking), silk hand-painted scarves, LEGO jewelry and a variety of books, cards, and other creative treasures.
  • We added a Table Build where participants were able to free build with black and white LEGO that ended up being both beautiful and interesting as we created a 3D sculpture. We placed this table in the Atrium, and at any time anyone could add to the build we were all developing. This activity was a perfect (introverted) component to illustrate the innovation pause.
  • For the extroverts, we added the race car challenge where teams of two worked together, with building constraints, to construct a race car that would beat all odds (design, safety, durability, driving ability, and distance travelled). And of course, each team needed a cheer to set the stage for a great competition!
  • We even had an evening of Salsa Dancing, with lessons from the Panamanian Team. They are truly skilled in rhythm and are way more coordinated then many of us.

** If you missed the unconference, we’re really sorry—Canadian sorry, even! But don’t worry, because the 5th Annual Unconference and meeting of the LSP facilitators will be here before you know it.  Email us at hello@strategicplay.com and join our mailing lists so you don’t miss a thing! 

3rd Annual Meeting of LSP Facilitators and Unconference

August 21, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion

3rd Annual Meeting of the LSP Facilitators and Unconference 2017 receives a great review from a participant.

“The Strategic Play Group LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Unconference is a phenomenal experience” – Participant and Certified LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methods facilitator, Rob Oddi

Watch this short video clip and learn why you should come to Cincinnati Ohio September 26 & 27, 2017 and learn with the Master Trainers.  – Can’t wait to see you in OHIO, USA



2017 LEGO SERIOUS PLAY meeting and unconference

August 17, 2017 in Pro Community

Don’t miss the 3rd Annual LSP Unconference!  

The City of Surrey works to reduce poverty with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods

July 10, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion

Alternative Problem Solving Methodology for Difficult and Messy Problems.

This video highlights play-based methods curated by the Strategic Play Group Ltd., to solve messy and complicated problems.

This play-based, problem-solving method can be applied to companies and not for profits and all levels of Government.  Poverty is a great example of a messy, complicated problem.

But don’t take our word for it, watch, listen, and see how it works.  If you want to solve your own problems in creative ways, please reach out to us as we would love to hear from you: info@strategicplay.ca




Stories from the Playground – Creative Conflict Management in 3D

July 1, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion

Diagnostic Cards at Play

Solving complex conflicts with images of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY builds

Diagnostic Cards at Play in Creative Conflict Management

“Since using the cards I would not want to conduct my practice without them.”

 -Jennifer Webster, Mediator/Arbitrator/Lawyer


It’s always wonderful to hear stories from our trained LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods facilitators. This one was too good to keep to ourselves, so we wanted to share the news.


This story comes from Jennifer Webster, who is a Canadian mediator, arbitrator, and lawyer. She is also a trained and certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods facilitator.


Jennifer bought our Diagnostic Cards to use in her facilitations, specifically to open the lines of communication amongst group members. Conflict management is never easy. It is important the mediator, in this case Jennifer, has all the information she needs before she even gets the parties to the table. It is particularly vital when the next step in the process is an interest-based facilitation workshop.


Jennifer discovered the cards provide a great way to start challenging and critical conversations with individuals who are very closed.


“The cards help people to express themselves and take risks.”


The cards helped to give a voice to individuals who have limited language abilities or who may be having trouble articulating what they want to say. Jennifer has also used the cards with groups and also during private interviews.


“The visuals provide an artifact or a durable touchstone during conflict management. People often refer back to one or more of the cards as an expression of their experience. This lets the visual stand in for their words.” 

According to David Gauntlett & Bo Stjerne Thomsen:

Cultures of Creativity: Nurturing creative mindsets across cultures

“To build bridges between cultures, people need a common language through which they can develop shared meanings. ”


Facilitating XYZ live interview with trainers Jacquie Lloyd Smith and Stephen J. Walling

June 23, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion



LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods for Project Teams in Motion!

April 1, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion

Get ready to add FUN and Excitement to your program! Learn to use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods & materials, LEGO® Mindstorm® Robots, and Creative Problem Solving Processes, combined with Strategic Play® tools and applied in a unique and powerful program that delivers team results.

In today’s fast paced business environment, organizations in all industries and service sectors are forming task and project teams to get the work done. Everyone from healthcare professionals to marketing teams, IT teams, community leaders, and even public school teachers must help teams perform at their highest capacity. We will be using agile methods that are designed to be used inside or outside of an IT environment, no previous agile experience is required. You maybe a team coach, a facilitator, a teacher / trainer, you might even be an agile coach or scrum master, or just someone that works with teams and wants to be more helpful in their development.

If you work with teams you know that multidisciplinary teams are often developed to work on projects that are more complex, with constantly changing requirements. But how can we take teams to the highest level of functionality where they are equipped to:

* Respectfully take full advantage of the talent on the team?
* Make the best use of their resources (time, human, budget, operations, etc.)?
* Use creative thinking to effectively solve problems faster & better, to find innovative solutions?
* Apply creative problem tools to understand team interests and talents, stakeholder interests and positions, visioning, and to plan strategy?
* Gain the competencies to move multifunction project teams from the conception stage to the Implementation and action stage in iterative steps?

Teams that are flexible, adaptable, and agile are more successful as they navigate messy problems in real time, and that’s why we have developed this hands-on, interactive training. This training provides team coaches, educators, and facilitators with a ready-to-go program they can deliver to teach, coach, and facilitate as the project unfolds. The experience is so powerful, memorable, and applicable that learning goes immediately from the training room to the project floor. Advanced facilitation techniques will be used and unpacked in the interative stages and retrospectives.

As the facilitator / team coach, you learn to train from the back of the room and use teachable moments to coach a team to success. You facilitate the process and the learning happens organically as the project unfolds. This is a fast-paced program where participants are 100% engaged as they work together to solve a real world problem using both LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods and LEGO® Mindstorm robots and materials. You will gain techniques as you learn to adapt and design this core program to your unique environment to deliver a training workshop that rocks.

This training highlights leadership, conflict management, creative problem solving, and diversity of thinking all at once.

Get ready for the learning of your lifetime. You get:
Four exciting jam packed days in Whistler at the award winning Nita Lake Lodge with breaks and lunch each day
Your LSP Starter Kit of LEGO Bricks
A professional set of photographs to kick start your marketing
Helpful tips and tricks for your program launch
Your unique problem solving profile assessment
A manual with the ready-to-go program
A great set of Strategic Play diagnostic cards to use with your teams
Your certification, noting hours logged in training by a Master Trainer

Don’t miss out. We have a limited number of seats available, so avoid disappointment and register today.

Also: The training is being held at the award winning Nita Lake Lodge (also the home of Strategic Play) and they are offering special discounts on rooms for trainees, so be sure to call the hotel and ask for the Strategic Play Group Rate for that time period.

Nita Lake Lodge Toll Free North America: 1-888-755-6482

Nita Lake Lodge – all other locations +1-604-966-5700

Objectives your clients want you to help them reach for capacity building for 21st century leadership skills!

  • Lead by example and use circle of influence to contribute to team processes
  • Become a high functioning team member
  • Use effective communication skills for critical conversations
  • Develop your team into becoming high-performing
  • Manage change processes
  • Understand and measure risks
  • Apply agile, flexible, and adaptable thinking skills
  • Take responsibility, and step up and speak up with confidence
  • Engage stakeholders and motivate team members to perform at their best
  • Work and excel under pressure
  • Apply creative problem solving and divergent and convergent thinking appropriately
  • Evaluate and select work paths
  • Identifying criteria needed for decisions
  • Think strategically under pressure
  • Coach others to perform at their best in real time
  • Work with project or product owners to manage scope creep
  • Present finished products

Ok, now stop reading and register for this training – the seats are selling fast and Whistler and the Nita Lake Lodge are on fire….

If you procrastinate you will miss it! …We are not kidding! REGISTER NOW!

Diagnostic Cards based on the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods

March 23, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion

Diagnostic Cards in the LSP methods at work

The powerful pocket-sized tool for inspiring creative thinking, problem solving,
decision making 
and collaboration to drive innovation…is here!

These diagnostic cards exist to help you design, develop, and run powerful meetings and workshops. They were developed by facilitators for facilitators to use with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods.


We know you want to make the best possible experience for your clients. We are here to help you do this. We know from experience that visual processes can make a big difference in the value you offer and drive better outcomes.

To learn more about the cards and how we have been using them, click here!

To order cards, click here!  All orders come with a copy Strategic Play: Diagnostic Cards – Free!


Advanced Facilitator Certification: Playing with Strategy with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods

March 16, 2017 in Serious Play Training

Advanced Certification Playing with Strategy -Toronto, Ontario, Canada

June 8 & 9, 2017 -Toronto, ON, Canada

Join us at the Sheraton Centre Hotel for LSP Advanced Certification training for strategy makers.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology system is the perfect tool for preparing for the unexpected.

Too often, strategic planning is a misplaced word that really only means work planning. You need to see this powerful too in action if:

  • your organization or business clients are finding themselves unprepared and unsure of what to do next;
  • your organization or clients keep solving the wrong problems;
  • leaders discover that key individuals are confused and misaligned when it comes to making important decisions;
  • Tactics deployed lack imagination and creative problem solving;
  • People are not spontaneous and lack the ability to ‘think on their feet”.

You will build on your previous LSP knowledge to create 3D models that illustrate the complex environments where entities like organizations, boards, communities, and other interconnected systems function. See how these play out in real time as the ever changing environment tests the foundations and core. This tool will allow you to apply creative problem solving and use powerful visual tools to diagnose, consider new business models, uncover the real challenges, create large systems, test scenarios, and visually plan the work.

If you do not have a previous LSP certification course, please sign up now for one of the scheduled courses being offered (and we have one right before this one).

This is a fast-paced, jam-packed program, so be prepared to become immersed in deep-level thinking. The training is based on our work with clients, and client cases will be presented such as in health care, governments, and private industry. The underpinnings of our strategy work are based on the work and research of the founding fathers of LSP—Johan Roos, and Bart Victor—as well as their collaborations with Statler & Burgi.

Along with your manual, you will also receive templates you can use to better understand clients’ needs, research articles, LSP diagnostic cards, sample road maps for visioning, succession planning, and cases where you need to help people out imagining the competition and all other situations where strategic thinking and core senior team alignment is critically required. Remember, you can apply all workshop formats to sessions for mergers & acquisitions, new product development, disaster planning, service design and re-design, and business model planning.

Have we caught your interest? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions:




READY to go….Register NOW seats for this program are limited as we have very small class sizes to ensure knowledge transfer.

Register now! 

#I Am Anti-Bully Event with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methodology 2017

February 25, 2017 in Serious Play Discussion



Why did children, families, students, and volunteers gather in Burnaby on a Sunday afternoon? They came to talk about what it means to be truly supportive, to be a good friend, neighbor, and citizen, and to support anyone who is being bullied. They came to discuss what it means to really honor and respect diversity, and they did it in 3D.


What does being a good citizen have to do with stopping bullying? A bully probably would not attend an event like this. We were targeting the individuals who stand by and watch as someone is being bullied.


The bystander is the bully’s best ally, if they do nothing.

When the bystander speaks up, they are the bully’s biggest deterrent.


Bullying does not just affect children and teens, adults are targets as well. It is a very insidious behavior, and most people have been the victim at some point.


Why did we use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods?


Well, you might be thinking we brought in the bricks because children love to build. But the truth is, we used the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology because we knew that children, adults, and teens alike, would be able to build metaphors to express their ideas and share their inner feelings and thoughts.


LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY methods uses a story-making process that gives the brain a hand and allows internal thoughts to come out for exploration. When people share their stories with 3D models, it helps them to make sense of their personal experience. It also builds confidence as others validate their stories.


As the participants constructed and deconstructed their ideas and built powerful stories together, we actually reinforced the behaviors we want to see exhibited in our society. The activities strengthened positive ideas like:


  • Being a generous listener
  • Helping a friend
  • Working together and collaborating
  • Sharing stories and sharing bricks
  • Taking turns


We asked powerful questions, such as “Can you think of a time when you really felt someone listened to you?” We opened up the space for thinking and reflection, along with powerful storytelling. It took participants back to a time when they felt strong and empowered.



This program was part of our annual Anti-bully workshop. The Vancouver, BC, Anti-bully team did an amazing job of coordinating and marketing the event, and the house was packed. They also found wonderful corporate sponsors, who were so inspired by the event they donated meaningful gifts such as movie tickets for a group of friends and LEGO® Superhero keychains. This allowed everyone to go home with a great takeaway reminder—a transitional object— of their experience.


The event was designed and developed by the Strategic Play Team, and we had seven trained and certified Strategic Play LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology facilitators who donated their time to the cause. Fourteen students helped to support the event by ensuring every child at each table was able to build and tell their own special story. The teens supported the facilitators and set a positive example for the younger children to follow.


(Great photo of all the volunteers that made this event shine!)
Diversity and respect are good things the world seems to need right now, maybe more than ever before. But this was no ordinary conversation. It was a conversation in 3D where people really felt appreciated and heard.

Special thanks to the facilitators who volunteered for this event!  It’s great to see so many wonderful people share their time and talents!

We trained them and we love them all!


  • Kirsten Anderson, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods – Vancouver, BC 
  • Klaus Boedker, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Vancouver, BC
  • Cheryl Joslin, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Victoria, BC
  • Maxine King, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Toronto, ON  
  • Jill Langer, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Calgary, AB
  • Laura MacDonald, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Vancouver, BC 
  • Stephen Walling, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods and Licensed Trainer -Vancouver, BC 


If you are interested in hosting an #I AM Anti-Bully event – please let us know! We would be happy to hear from you!  If you are looking for a facilitated workshop, the people above would be happy to come to play with you!

For more information email us anytime: hello@strategicplay.com




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