Lego Serious Play table layout

In 1996 LEGO faced a serious dilemma. Video games were taking over the world. Children were growing older faster, and LEGO ran the risk of becoming a toy that could, despite 40 years proving otherwise, become dated. They needed a revolution and, like most revolutions, it began at home.

LEGO CEO of the time, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen wanted change. He wanted his company to start thinking differently, not just about play and commercialism but about how they conducted their business as toy manufacturers. In his mind he needed to shake things up within each individual department as well as within the whole business strategy.

Kristiansen teamed up with two professors, Johan Roos and Bart Victor, to shake up how each department worked. Together they would create a new philosophy. Although play could never truly be serious, they were serious about play.

After over 20 iterations the team had something they believed could help change their business, and businesses around the globe, forever. They were right.



LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®  was born out of the 20/80 business premise, that in any business meeting, 20% of the people make 80% of the contributions. This could be for many reasons but it tends to revolve around either an unwillingness to participate holding people back, dominant personalities taking control, or feelings of lack of value within a wider team. This means that businesses are only benefiting from, at most, 20% of their assets (assuming those 20% are contributing 100%).

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®  helps ambitious teams unlock new ways of thinking to overcome serious challenges.

Instead of the traditional 20/80 models, LEGO Serious Play works at breaking down the walls between people. It is a business exercise based around the ideas that people are the key to a company success, and strategy is something you live. It is not something to be stored away in a document.

Kristiansen and his team also understood one other thing that swiftly became a principle behind the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology. We, as human beings, learn through our hands as well as through our brains. Playing with LEGO, manipulating it with your hands, can improve cognitive function and concentration on the task in hand. It was on this principle he based the LSP concept.



Thus LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was born, a way in which everyone within a company can improve their communication skills, seek solutions to problems, and build stronger links between themselves and their co-workers. By building abstract solutions to problems all members of the team are heard, by using metaphor to create answers every opportunity is a viable alleyway to a stronger business.

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology is based upon the idea that everyone is equal. Everyone has an opinion that they are valid to and that should be heard for the greater good of the entire team.

Through using different visual, metaphorical, and physical techniques, LSP gathers imaginations together to create unique business solutions – no matter what the problem may be.

Complex challenges require unconventional thinking. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a facilitated experience that accelerates the performance of teams. It does this by helping them to connect their expertise in unconventional ways, so that they can better tackle complex challenges with new perspective and refreshed confidence. It is for this reason that LSP has become such a powerful tool.


Where is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® now?

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is now being recognised as a tool for both business and psychological development. Entrepreneurs all over the world are now seeing the value LSP can add to their businesses, and are utilising it for both the development of ideas and the bonding of teams. It is being used by a wider variety of companies to solve and even wider variety of problems that they are struggling to solve otherwise. Where a problem may have been seen as a locked door in the past, it can now be unlocked easily with a skeleton key made of LEGO.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is not necessarily the answer for every client, however, for if you believe that LSP is right for you then please do not hesitate to contact our team.

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