Just what is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

My trainer in LEGO Serious Play- Robert Rasmussen of Rasmussen Consulting has a newsletter that I always look forward to reading.

This month was particularly timely as we try to help people understand what LSP can do for their business, organization or team.

Reposted here with permission:

Most people have either participated in team-building programs at their workplace or a conference, know people who have or have a mental picture of what goes on. Maybe they have even read articles about what's out there or conducted on-line research. Many team-building exercises include LEGO bricks. This widespread use of LEGOs in corporate training has created misunderstanding and confusion.

Many people think they know what the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method is. Often superficial or partial knowledge clouds our vision more profoundly than no knowledge at all. So, pretend for two minutes that you know nothing about LEGO SERIOUS PLAY.

Effective, engaged and equitable group decision-making is the core outcome of a workshop designed and led by a trained and experienced LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator. There are many tangential benefits such as better understanding your co-worker's values and motives; seeing how your function, expertise or role impacts others or depersonalizing areas of conflict or disagreement, but the core, hard-to-replicate-any-other-way outcome is a decision emotionally supported by all participants.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is a science-based communication and problem-solving method designed to help organizations make better and faster decisions by assuring that everyone participates in an equal and meaningful way. The LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method disrupts the status quo 20-80 meeting flow where 20 percent of the participants dominate the conversation and 80 percent play a back-seat role and creates a 100 - 100 meeting, where all voices are equally heard and are equally important.

When a decision is supported using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method (LSP), everyone in the room sees and hears the options, the constraints, the best- and worst-case scenarios likely to result and realizes that the final decision makes the most sense for the majority of stakeholders.

LSP was officially first launched in 2002. The idea to use LEGO bricks for business strategy originated in 1995 in a collaboration between the owner of the LEGO Company and the Institute of Management Development in Switzerland (IMD). Between 1995 and 1999 Roos and Victor from IMD experimented with the process without much success.