Lego Serious Play – Whole brain thinking

By Rachel Armstrong, Partner

February 22, 2016   

Lego serious playI’ve often heard it said that radical thinking is the only way to drive change and enhance business performance for the better. But when tackling everyday business challenges that don’t have an obvious answer where do you start?

At WAE we use a plethora of techniques including 6 Hats and more recently Lego Serious Play (LSP) to break down perceptions, discover behavioural insight, and remove barriers to encourage engagement in an environment where people collaborate and share ideas freely.

Using the power of hand knowledge

As a global service design consultancy WAE use LSP as a communication and creative tool to unearth conscious ideas, inclusively with others to drive agreed actionable outcomes.

The methodology is a radical, innovative, experiential process designed to enhance business performance and it is based on the belief that everyone can contribute to the discussion, the decisions and the outcomes, irrespective of age, gender, seniority, knowledge or any other perceived discriminator.

Through utilising a select few, or all eight key techniques available, LSP has the unique ability, in a short period of time, to enable groups of people to come together to approach and tackle a business challenge that has no obvious or correct solution. The end result being a ‘clear, actionable outcome’ that everyone involved has not only actively participated and contributed to, but buys into.

“When you build a shared model there’s a sense of joint ownership.”

Whole brain thinking

When speaking about this technique with our clients one of the most prominent questions I get asked is ‘How can I apply this tool in my business?’ – In short there are a number of applications, from helping groups of people within an organisation to collectively define a challenge and unearth a brief, to imagineering future ideal customer experiences – in reality the possibilities are endless.

Having successfully completed an immersive four-day programme with industry visionaries looking to find new ways to help solve and tackle our clients every day business problems, I wanted to bring my experience to life and share my learning with colleagues and friends at WAE.

Lego serious play with WAE

The power of storytelling

When children play they take objects and transform them into characters and narratives. LSP follows a similar principle – creating a level-playing field, each participant is given a box of Lego, each containing an identical number of bricks and components. During a warm up exercise all participants are asked to build something that’s simple to comprehend and is universal – such as ‘build a tower’ – of course, all the towers are indeed towers, but they look very different and represent different things to the individual.

For most of us, during our childhood our first understanding of storytelling is through fairy tales, legends and myth. LSP uses constructivism to formalise, visualise and communicate opinions and thoughts into tangible and understandable applications for business.

It is my experience through facilitating immersive LSP sessions that, narratives in the business environment serve to create organisation and product identification, can help to build theories, assumptions and a host of other ideas.

Leveraging your uniqueness – helping people go beyond

  • Achieve a level of thinking that goes beyond playing with bricks
  • Understand how people think, how their stories influence how they work, and how they work and interact with others
  • Unearth the power of telling and remembering stories, told by using physical and visual reference
  • Create the ability to tell and share stories in a unique and agile way

LSP builds on and utilises strategic imagination. It’s a unique, collaborative process that can be applied to any business challenge. The combination of physical and visual reference helps all participants understand the story and vision they are creating, and to convey the outcome to interested parties, colleagues and stakeholders.

Our team at WAE has expanded quite rapidly in recent months so getting a group so 12 staff together, with a view to discuss our vision for where we see WAE in 2017, proved to be an extremely insightful and engaging exercise.

Introducing 4×4 methodology – enhance business performance

Did you know that it typically takes companies over 40 hours to reach a consolidated decision around any challenge? Designed to enhance business performance through the power of Lego, WAE’s rapid, innovative and unique 4×4 methodology reduces this time to 36 hours, constructing insight through imagination.

4×4 is based on four hours and four commitments: Creative, Inclusive, Open and Actionable. During 4×4 sessions we build metaphors to visualise and communicate a shared understanding of your challenge, to define actionable outcomes.

WAE 4X4 can be used to…

  • Define a clear business vision
  • Create an ideal experience with / for your customers
  • Prioritise key business challenges and associated actions
  • Define future team structures, roles and responsibilities
  • Identify product propositions and assumptions
  • Generate and prioritise ideas around a specific challenge
  • Understand team dynamics and working process

Lego Serious Play and your business

We’d love to work with you to help you enhance your business performance and tackle challenges that don’t have an obvious answer. All we need is one day, a clearly defined challenge or goal, a group key decision makers and an open mind.

To find out more please get in touch –