Blog: LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Insights

What does our LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator Training look like?

Serious Work does not teach LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Instead we train you how to *professionally facilitate using* LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®.

This re-frame means we provide lots of opportunities for participants to practice their facilitation skills and build their confidence to use the method.

If you're curious to know what our masterclasses look like the photos and video below show you a Serious Work Masterclass in action and comments from course participants might give you a sense of the feel of our way of training (thanks Paul and Caroline!)

The overarching course objective


Our London training venue


The masterclass brings to life the ideas in our book




Practicing the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Skills Build

Facilitating individual model building

Facilitating shared model building

Experiencing system model building

Learning about video and photography


Designing and facilitating group tasks

Facilitating a first workshop on the evening of day 2.

And thanks for the kind words from masterclass participants, Paul and Caroline.


Paul Brown: Abductive thinker, perpetual learner and product guy

"I have had the pleasure of being instructed by Sean on two different Lego Serious Play courses now and I have to say, both times I spent a fantastic couple of days learning and doing the practices with him and the other wonderful people who shared the training experience with me. I am a huge fan of what and how Sean does what he does - I have learned SO much from him.

He is the kind of mentor / teacher everyone wants and deserves; thoughtful, strong, hugely knowledgeable, empathetic and with a level of technical and interpersonal skill that I have rarely seen. I feel very lucky indeed to have been able to share time with him and I look forward to continuing to build on our relationship in the future as a student, client and friend."

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brownpf/



Caroline Jessop: Coaching and Facilitation

"Just a thanks, as one human to another for creating such a lovely learning space. I feel like you crafted a lovely warm Petri dish of agar jelly for us all to grow in, and I was one happy microbe!

It's said, that people may not remember what you said (though in this case we hope they will!) but they will remember how you made them feel. There are many moments in the future when all of us will channel our inner Sean, which is a very powerful thing to have imparted.

Please print this message, and put it somewhere illogical. I have the hope that at some point in the future you might unexpectedly come across it and be reminded of what you achieved for us today."

https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolinejessop/


Reserve your place on a Masterclass http://serious.global/learn/book/




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A LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® meeting identification flowchart

If you are a trained LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator perhaps you’ve heard the odd debate about what is (or isn’t) LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. This diagram seeks to demystify the obvious. Obviously.

View or download PDF in at http://www.serious.global/Is-that-LEGO-SERIOUS-PLA...

“LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is entering a new phase. New applications will be developed by the international community of users, and may be shared online. In this new phase, we welcome creative uses of these tools, and innovation in the community”

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® OPEN SOURCE GUIDE 2010 (link)

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What is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?


If you ask different people what LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is you might well get different answers. The reason? Because it's many things in the same package.


LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Method

It is a systematic method that enables people to use LEGO® bricks to solve problems, explore ideas and achieve objectives.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Process

It is a structured process where participants proceed through a series of steps to think, build, tell a story, reflect and refine, to develop a shared understanding on the issue at hand.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Communication tool or language

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® enables three modes of communication: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. The models enable enhanced expression, deeper listening and better memory.

Shared model building allow teams to understand each others interpretation and create deeper shared meaning of key ideas.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Service

It is a service provided by trained facilitators, trainers or coaches who use LEGO® bricks hand in hand with other material tools to help individuals or teams achieve objectives and create outcomes.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Framework

As a framework or philosophy LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a participatory mode of leadership that is democratic, all-inclusive, playful, goal-driven and constructive.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Product line

It is also patented and trademarked product line of LEGO® corporation. LEGO® and its subsidiary Executive Discovery patented LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in early 2001 as “a program, method and materials for enhancing creative thinking, communication, decision-making and strategic planning.” (U.S. Patent no. 20020103774-A1)

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a Meeting tool

While some applications might need a five day LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop we also have witnessed its power to activate people in small and large groups, in brief interventions of just 10 minutes to workshop over several days.

Reproduced from the introduction to SERIOUS WORK: HOW TO FACILITATE MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS USING THE LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® METHOD

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​How to... make a Serious LEGO Movie


Use this technique to share a small model to a room full of people, when you have a workshop with more than 20 participants.

A LEGO cam (iPhone) linked to an Apple TV in a shared model building workshop

The sample video below was taken at a workshop of 50 people working on 8 tables in a big room. The team was exploring the nature of Interdependence.

Each participant had been given 2 minutes and the following build instruction

"Build a model to carefully explain interdependence to a 12 year old child"

After participants had shared their ideas with the others on their table, they voted to identify the best ideas. The facilitator then went to each table and filmed the builder telling the story of the model. At the same time the mobile phone was connected to the projector via an Apple TV so everyone in the room could see the story of the model being shown.

And this technique also creates a video record of all the best ideas in the room.

If you have other ways of sharing ideas in large groups or making LEGO serious movies, please share in the comments below.

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​A very brief history of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®


The serious play story began in 1996 when Institute for Management Development (IMD) professors Johan Roos and Bart Victor created the "serious play" concept and process as a way to enable managers to describe, create and challenge their views of their business. LEGO joined the story during an IMD program for the top 300 leaders in the LEGO® Company.

Roos and Victor presented their early ideas in a short article published by IMD in 1998 entitled "In Search for Original Strategies: How About Some Serious Play?"

Presented with the findings of the work at IMD, LEGO® CEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen sponsored a company under the auspices of LEGO® called Executive Discovery.

Bart Victor led the product development and commercialisation process of Serious Play at Executive Discovery. He invited Robert Rasmussen from LEGO® and Professor Dave Owens from Vanderbilt University to help bring the first product to market. The first "LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®" application was called Real-Time Strategy.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was developed into a consulting method used by companies including Daimler Chrysler, Roche, SABMiller, Tupperware, Nokia and Orange.

At the same time, Johan Roos and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen established the research effort at the aptly named 'Imagination Lab', a Swiss think tank that between 2001-2006 produced 74 research papers, many journal articles and 4 books.

The result of 15 years development?

A powerful method to solve problems, explore ideas and achieve objectives based on management theory using a toy.

In 2010 LEGO made the method open source. This decision created a community of practice and today, unleashed, today we find the method thriving in a wide range of applications.


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What does our LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator Training look like?
Serious Work does not teach LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Instead we train you ...
A LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® meeting identification flowchart
If you are a trained LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator perhaps you’ve ...
What is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?
If you ask different people what LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is you might well ...
​How to... make a Serious LEGO Movie
Use this technique to share a small model to a room full of people, when ...
​A very brief history of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
The serious play story began in 1996 when Institute for Management ...

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SeriousWork uses the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method described in the LEGO Group Open Source Guide made available by LEGO under a Creative Commons licence ‘Attribution Share Alike’