Andrew Sandford is Founder of We are Lean and Agile. We deliver value add software and services to organisations to help them improve services. Here he talks about the Lego Serious Play method and what it can offer you.
Traditional meetings do not create the environment for solving complex challenges for your organisations and teams. Often 20% of the people contribute 80% of the content leaving 80% of the attendees creating very little. How do we tackle our complex systems and challenges and involve 100% of the participants knowledge and creativity? How about LSP sessions?
LSP was born in 1996 when Lego owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen connected with 2 academics Bart Victor and Johan Roos. They wanted a better way to engage people in solving the big complex organisational problems, traditional meetings and workshops were not delivering results. They wanted to unlock everyone’s creativity in sustaining and improving the business in troubling times. LSP was the result.
LSP was effectively ‘released’ in 2002 with a solid training model being in place. LSP has iterated and improved over the years with it now being an open sourced methodology.
LSP is now used in organisations like Lego (it had to be said and would be weird if not!), Google, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Pfizer and Toyota. It has to be worth a look.
Creating lean in meetings
Picture the last meeting you were in. Sat at a table with colleagues. How engaged were the participants in the meeting based on their body language?
LSP for me has many benefits one of which is creating ‘Lean In’ meetings. How do we get 100%* of the participants to engage 100%* of the time in solving the organisations big hairy audacious problems? In a that meeting you thought about, how many people were leaning forward engaging and contributing to the outcomes? LSP helps you do this.
*not guaranteed, obviously there is the odd participant that doesn’t get on with it.
What it’s not
It’s not playing don’t be fooled by the inclusion of Lego in this technique it is Serious Play. It is focussed work using innovative methods to unlock creativity and engage everyone.
If you need to disseminate information to people then there are better ways to do this. If you need to unlock the creativity of your entire team to solve complex system problems then it is for you.
What can I do with it?
At a high level LSP can be used to address problems in leadership issues, strategy, vision, product development, team development and personal development. If you have a big difficult challenge this is a great way of finding solutions.
I am a total convert to this approach and I am a cynical analytical process geek by trade. This stuff works. They tell you to think with your hands and just start building and it is amazing the creativity it unlocks.