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    Thierry Gregorius

    Hi Priscilla, sounds like this company has a supply chain problem. If that is really the case, I doubt the solution to the crisis lies within the walls of the company. Therefore it may be useful to ask your client if one or more of their suppliers should participate in the workshop.

    Also, I hope the company doesn’t just want to use the LSP method for its own sake. Unless the problem is clearly defined, no method will help solve it.

    Finally, some gamestorming techniques can be adapted to LSP, or provide inspiration in other ways I once ran a hybrid workshop with both gamestorming and LSP which worked well. Every method has its pros and cons, so I would resist getting fixated on a particular method before it’s clear WHAT problem they’re trying to solve, and WHY. The HOW should come later…

    Good luck!

    Thierry Gregorius

    Thanks Koen, I have passed it on!

    Thierry Gregorius

    Thanks Dieter, appreciated.

    If anyone else has links to workshop resources for kids, involving LEGO as a tool/process, that would be useful too.


    Thierry Gregorius

    I think Jamie makes some good points. In my mind there is no doubt about the value of LSP as a method (and I intend to get fully certified as soon as time and budget allows), but if Dan Lyons’ statistics are right — 10,000 certified facilitators vs 100,000 participants, i.e. a ratio of 1:10 — then it would seem that the ROI for getting certified is very low, as on average it would end up being applied to just 10 individuals.

    Better data on the successes of LSP would certainly help here – anyone have anything to share?

    Failing that, all we can do with potential clients is to leave the methodology out of the conversation until the workshop objectives and requirements have been agreed. Similar to IT consultants pushing solutions before the requirements are clearly defined (something I’m very familiar with), maybe some of us are making the mistake of pushing LSP too soon i.e. focusing on the HOW before agreeing the WHY and WHAT. Once that agreement is in place it should be easier to make the case for LSP if it is presented as one of a range of options, or a preferred option that you recommend for specific reasons.

    Thierry Gregorius

    I found this blog post by the author where he specifically rants against LEGO Serious Play:

    Reading this blog post, and Amazon reviews of his book (I’ve not read it), it seems to me that this author takes an approach fairly typical of authors in the business world: he has an already established opinion of a problem to which he then tries to fit anecdotal evidence.

    For example, in his blog post he starts with “When I first heard about Lego workshops, I thought someone was pulling my leg.” – so his mind was already made up before he’d even tried it.

    One Amazon review says “There is a lot of hyperbole and emotional ranting in this book that is very funny, but at times starts to sound a bit like sour grapes.”

    Another Amazon reviewer: “…he is eager to point out the politics of certain CEOs when it benefits his argument, but not when it does not.” (not relating to LEGO)

    The author similarly rants again AGILE, which actually works well in many companies, and most IT developers I know prefer it over the traditional waterfall approach. He has problems with the idea of “playing” at work, but I could easily point him towards successes evidenced in books like Lifelong Kindergarten (by Mitchel Resnick) – I suspect he ignores this stuff because it doesn’t fit his argument.

    The book may well touch on valid issues in the work place, and be genuninely funny (note the author is also a comedy screen writer) but he seems to rant against LSP merely because it suits his story, as this review also seems to suggest In his blog post he belittles the science behind LSP, but then offers no science or evidence of to support his side of the argument.

    In other words, he’s just another guy with an opinion.

    Thierry Gregorius

    Looks interesting as the intersection of two different worlds (in this case digital & analog) can always lead to new insights.

    Reminds me of AR experiments in my own industry (mapping & data) see e.g. here from Britain’s national mapping agency At first it seems ridiculous to recreate a paper map in AR when you could use digital 3D mapping systems, but it led to some interesting insights and behaviours…

    I wouldn’t use such technology for workshops until it is completely proven and reliable though – computers and video links always break… unlike flipcharts or LEGO bricks :)

    Thierry Gregorius

    Thanks Marko, appreciate your interest.

    The LSP exercise was aimed at finding what really makes the team unique in terms of value proposition (as perceived by themselves; no users/customers of their services were involved in the exercise).

    This exercise was informed by a range of outputs from other workshop activities that came before it (which were based on gamestorming techniques, not LSP). For example, we had inventorised the team’s skills, which produced a huge and varied list. Also, the team had a history of providing many different services to customers, which we had grouped into different segments to understand their needs better. And, using things like empathy maps and image-ination exercises, we had produced a list of nearly 100 ideas of what other services the team could provide.

    There was a lot of stuff, and doing everything for everyone is obviously not strategy – hence the need to boil it down to the team’s essence and find the unique value proposition.

    In addition to more structured ranking and prioritisation, I was keen to ensure that the team would also think about their purpose and uniqueness more instinctively – this is why I thought it would be great to try LSP. And, as I wrote in the article, it worked amazingly well!

    So to answer your question, the individual models produced some common themes like being agile, mobile and the strength of our personal relationships with customers; these were complemented by more unique interpretations from individual team members of where they thought the team could make a unique contribution (e.g. they have a lot of geological experience in Africa – if you look carefully at one of the pictures you’ll see a model representing the physical shape of Africa, with its multi-colours representing the diversity of its people, business requirements and geology!).

    Creating individual models was fairly straightforward and very intuitive. It was a shame we didn’t have much time to spend on the shared building model, I would have wanted to ask people more questions about some of the connections they made, and whether they could have found more connections between the different elements.

    Also, reflecting on it further, it was interesting to see that LSP produced output comparable to the gamestorming methods which were used in parallel by other groups (they created mood boards, drawings and a ‘Make a World’ landscape out of paper). In fact I would rate the LSP output superior in quality because it felt somehow more personal in terms of expression (although don’t ask me why! It’s just a feeling).

    In hindsight it would have been great to use LSP for all 25 people (not just the sub-team of 5), and then join it all up into one mega-model to explore ideas more deeply. I guess that’s where the LSP facilitator training may be required… But one step at a time, I first wanted to try it on a smaller scale :-)

    Anyway, sorry quite a long answer. Hope this clarifies…! :-)

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