People tend to approach training and development days with a fixed mind-set. If you show up at a meeting with boxes of LEGO® bricks, all bets are off. You’re guaranteed to get a group of people thinking in a new way, accessing parts of their personality that haven’t seen the light of day in years… and that’s just the start.

lego-serious-play

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a meeting facilitation method that utilises the common language and cross-cultural power of play – and the virtually limitless possibilities of the LEGO® brick – to aid creativity, problem solving, decision-making, communication and collaboration.

It allows every individual to contribute to a team-wide challenge, taking a stake in a shared outcome and collective experience. Through the use of metaphors, stories and spatial visualisation it creates fresh insight and brings results that everyone can believe in, because everyone has been heard. It’s also AWESOME fun.

Again, don’t be fooled by the froufrou… there is science behind everything Ruby Red Coaching & Consulting does and this applies to the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology in particular.

“Play is our natural way of adapting and developing new skills. It is what prepares us for emergence and keeps us open to serendipity, to new opportunities. It prepares us for ambiguity.”
Brown, Stuart: Play, Avery, 2009

The Science of Play

Here at Ruby Red Coaching & Consulting we have a passion for the Science of Play and not just because it tells us what we instinctively know to be true. Neuroscientists have proven, over and again, that Play is of immense value at the heart of creativity and innovation in a corporate context. The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method in particular is rooted in neuroscience.

Thinking with Your Fingers

More typical ways of working in groups rely on assertive verbal interactions. This can give undue weight to certain points of view and create a culture of ‘winning and losing’. This can prevent parts of the group from expressing themselves and critical insights can be lost. Working with your hands as individuals engages the entire group and assures full participation.

Furthermore, the so-called “working memory” of the human brain, the conscious information from the eyes and ears that is held for immediate use, is pretty limited. Whereas information gathered via the hands interacts with 70-80% of the brain. These neural connections allow you to subconsciously retain more information than would otherwise be possible.

Using the hands in any learning process creates thoughts and ideas with more detail, bypassing typical modes of thought and accessing new ways of seeing the world. They also come with an emotional charge and as a result, these ideas are more easily understood and remembered.

All decision-making involves an emotional element but the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method brings this process to the surface, allowing the individual to become conscious of these feelings and act on them.

We’ll be adding to this section as we unearth more research into the Science of Play and its effectiveness in the workplace, as well as keeping an eye out for new studies as they become available.

Should you wish to discuss the Science of Play in more detail, please get in touch.

“Simple, impactful, fun and importantly effective – a wonderfully valuable session for a rapidly evolving organisation that needed some ‘compass setting’.

Who would have thought a day with the senior team would involve the articulation of our company leadership strategy through LEGO® bricks? Structured ‘play’ enabled us to tackle real business challenges together through a channel we usually suppress or ignore in the work environment.

The results were immediate, far-reaching and long-lasting. We have a fresh approach to leadership development that has positively impacted relationships not only internally across the wider organisation, but more importantly, with our clients. Thank you, Anne-Marie!”

Dr Afua Basoah, Managing Director, Apothecom ScopeMedical