04 Mar 2020

3 things LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is NOT. And one that it is!

When I tell someone I meet that I am a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator, they look at me incredulously.
Then, being rather polite, but in measured tones, they ask, “But isn’t that a toy? What kids play with?”
(Yes, I do know what a ‘toy’ means, thanks for the help there!)
So equally politely and in matching measured tones, I say, yes, what kids play with and then drawing myself up a little bit higher than my 5 feet 4 inches, I say, “but these are specially designed kits that we use”.
The eyebrows arch a bit, then they knit into a confused frown and I launch into my full oration of what the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Method is!
But before that I need to tell them what it isn’t.
So here it goes (and you can eavesdrop!)…

One: LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is not about building LEGO models!

It’s not about buying a box off the shelf, then making an edifice from scratch. Is that tough? Engaging? Fun? Challenging? Of course. But that’s building with Lego bricks. And it’s building from instructions. You are told what to do to get the complete model.

With LEGO SERIOUS PLAY you just build. You build the way you want to build. You build within minutes (most of the time). You build with as many or as few bricks (most of the time) And your model is the right model (all the time!).

participant with bricks
Building with the LSP Bricks

The reason for this is that the LSP Method is about tapping the hitherto unrealized potential of the brain. A lot of what you create with your hands is what is resident in your brain. Which is why it is said with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY that your hands are doing the thinking!

Two: Lego Serious Play is not TRAINING

Here’s something else. It’s not training. I, a certified LSP Facilitator, CANNOT train someone. Cannot dish out certificates. Globally (and you can check that out here) the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY certification workshops are conducted by a small group of highly experienced, dedicated and senior Masters of Facilitators. They conduct the 4-day intense training (which we undergo) and they guide us as we go along.

Creating a landscape
Creating a landscape in Lego Serious Play Workshop

We ‘facilitate’ workshops, help you solve problems, help you break silos, define brand strategy, help you envisage the future. There’s no training here. Only a workshop design in which we facilitate and you work! Yes… you tap into the collective potential of your organisation’s best people, key stakeholders and important contributors – and we help you come up with insights, breakthroughs, A-HA moments… and more.
So… not training. Nope. Only facilitation. (And immense benefits).

Three: Lego Serious Play is not an ACTIVITY

Oh no! A VP conclave is being planned.
“Can you do an activity for 47 minutes between lunch and the key speaker slot?”
No, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is not your slot-filler, time-passer, ice-breaker, or any other kind of ‘activity’.
It’s play but it’s not flippant or frivolous.

22000 bricks or so
A huge pile of bricks to be used for the larger workshops

It’s a whole bunch of Lego bricks. In fact, last time our team used 22,000 bricks, (see pic!) but it gets increasingly intense as the workshop goes deeper and deeper. And yet, it’s play. There are no restrictions. You build the model. And you share. And you listen to the others sharing. Therein lies the ‘activity’ That, and nothing else. Result? An objective is met. Insights emerge. Eyebrows are raised. Some heads turn. And a problem is on its way to being solved. But for that VP Conclave… come on, get that stand-up comedienne… she’s very good!

And this is what a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop IS!

Okay okay, so I’ve said my piece. (And you are crying, “Peace!”)
So now I can tell you that one big thing that a well-designed LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop can do.
It can make that one big difference between an ordinary team and a well-bonded, highly productive, high-performing team.
It can help you decide between Future Scenario A and Future Scenario B and what it will lead to.
It can help you see your entire organizational landscape at a glance, in 3D. (no 3D glasses required).
Oh…. but that’s not one thing. That’s three. Well, there’s more. But for that…

Call. Email. Leave a comment below.

Want to know more about what an LSP workshop can do for you? For starters use your fingers to call or email us or simply leave a comment below with your contact details for us to get back to you. We could even surprise you with a free demo if you are in our neck of the woods. (And no, that is still NOT an activity!)

Call. Mail. Comment. Or simply share!
(And those are not hints, they are bricks!)