How Lego toys can make positive changes to company's
Here's how it took place. Back in 1996, the chairman in the Lego toys company, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen was seeking to improve his company's strategy process. He approached Johan Roos and Bart Victor, both professors at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland to help him. While looking for alternatives to the conventional strategic planning process, they realised that the answer may be in regularly Lego games themselves. And so Lego Serious Play was born. The professors were drawing from Constructionism theory - a school of thought, attributed to Jean Piaget and Seymour Papert, which postulates how the learning process is greatly supported by physical edifice. In other words, when individuals are engaged in constructing an object, something outside of themselves (e.g. a sandcastle, a machine, a book, a Lego toy etc.) they will open to receiving stimulus, retaining information and participating actively in the learning process.
In essence, Lego Serious Play is often a form of business consultancy that aims to foster creative thinking through tangible interplay. After the process was developed and tested on Lego's employees, it was marketed and real time strategy was a managerial mainstay additional ideas corporate bigwigs like Daimler Chrysler, Roche Pharmaceutical, SABMiller, Tupperware, Nokia and Lemon. So how does it work? As an alternative to having a conventional brainstorming meeting or workshop, using business cards and fliers and techniques that yield inconsistent results, the objective of significant Play is assist you to team members to build physical metaphors with regard to their personal understanding associated with the company's organisational entities using Lego toys and games. These three-dimensional 'metaphors' are then acquainted with facilitate strategic planning, conflict resolution and team development.
So why is that this approach more effective than traditional services? The Lego games basically allow participants to cut straight to the core with the issues at hand by working for a catalyst to trigger subconscious thinking methods. In truth, one could probably use any number of alternative 'construction games' to facilitate these processes, but LEGO has succeeded in harnessing the uses thereof - providing companies with a functional, one-stop strategic solution, so to talk. According to the Lego Serious Play website, strategy is best used for:
Strategy development and exploration by examining and evaluating relations to external partners and clients.
Organisational development for management, teams and individual employees correspondingly.
Innovation and developing the site by unleashing creativeness and transforming ideas into workable conceptions.
Smoothing management change by facilitating and implementing structural changes and mergers.
Abraham Maslow once said 'If discharge tool is a hammer, you normally see every problem as a nail'. What we can learn from the Lego Serious Play approach is to re-evaluate our resources, to think outside of the box - drip the solution with problem is at the front of your visage. Who could have known that fiddling with a few interesting Lego toys could bring about close to this much corporate insight?