Virtual LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® – Is Online Shared Model Building possible?
The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® community is blessed with innovators (like the people who created this wonderful method) and hard core traditionalists (the ones who say 'no' quite often). So this blog post asks a contentious question:
Is Online Shared Model Building possible?
The answer is YES, and actually the experience and outcome is better than you might think.
The shared model building process differs in some important ways from face-to-face-in-the-same-room shared model building, and has its challenges as well as surprising opportunities. Yet, if a facilitator has the right mindset, has practiced the new techniques that online shared model building requires, and is well prepared before the workshop, the results can be as good as in the “real” world.
New Mindsets Needed
Some LEGO Serious Play traditionalists have recently written that online LEGO Serious Play cannot be learnt online because it lacks the tactile element. But this challenge can be overcome by new techniques that combine physical use of bricks with clever use of online-collaboration-tools. How do we know new mindsets are needed? Because if you had asked us a month ago, if Online LEGO Serious Play was possible we would have said no. But it turns out we were wrong too.
A group building a shared model online
A shared model built online by the group pictured above
Our business was born by embracing constraints
Can we be honest for a moment?
Four years ago, when we launched our book SERIOUSWORK, we unwittingly upset one of the authors of the other main book about LEGO Serious Play. When we came to develop our own training we knew this would be seen as controversial move in the LEGO Serious Play community.
And like every participant who were trained by the traditional school, we signed an agreement on the first day of our training agreeing not to use others Intellectual Property. We have honoured that agreement, and as it turns out, the limits and constraints of that agreement was one of the greatest gifts of being trained by the original method.
Constraints and limits are rocket fuel for innovation. We turned the 'master / trainee' model on its head three years ago and pioneered practice-based learning in LEGO Serious Play, and today we are embracing the constraints Covid-19 demands to create another innovation in LEGO Serious Play - online facilitation and training.
Masters of change, use change, to create change
Covid-19 has changed traditional ways of working. And for a while, face-to-face meetings are out. But now, more than ever, people working-from-home, need to meet in ways that facilitate human-to-human connection and support people to make sense of this new reality. People need effective ways to imagine what next, to rebuild careers, products and services in the hugely challenging times we are in.
Harness disruption to innovate even better solutions
So when disruption comes along, this can be seen as an opportunity or a threat. History is full of examples of organistions that created change, adapted to change or fell by the way unable to adapt to change.
Uber change the taxi market, AirBnB changed the hotel market, Amazon changed the high street, the list is long.
Online facilitation and training
Just as our second book, MASTERING The LEGO Serious Play Method (ironically launched in March 2020, the same month that Covid-19 put half the world on some form of lockdown), sought to pass on techniques for professional facilitation of LEGO Serious Play in face-to-face settings, our new book How to Facilitate The LEGO Serious Play Method ONLINE and training will seek to pass on all that we know, with the spirit of sharing that is defining our new age.
Sean Blair & Jens Droge
My first Online LEGO Serious Play Workshop. Shared Model Building with 78 Senior Academics and Executives. What could possibly go wrong?
MASTERING THE LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® METHOD 44. Facilitation Techniques for Trained LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitators
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® © 2017 The LEGO Group
© ProMeet 2019. SERIOUSWORK is a part of ProMeet, a professional meeting facilitation business. www.meeting-facilitation.co.uk