The Magic of Lego® Serious Play® – 3) We Like to Play

Children Playing Lego

The third of a series of posts answering the question “What is the magic behind Lego Serious Play?”.

The Magic of Lego® Serious Play® – 3) We Like to Play

During childhood, as our skills and personalities are developing at full speed, we play continuously. Either alone or with others and many times without any specific objective. We play for the sake of playing. Through play we explore our personal identity, we interpret the world as we see it and we practice and polish newly acquired skills. Through play we learn to be us and we understand the world in which we live. What we learn at this time and how we learn it will later define us as adults so during this crucial phase in our development, play and the its element of fun and enjoyment is what guarantees learning.

Later, as adolescents, the way in which we play changes and the focus shifts more towards playing in order to socialise and with specific objectives (organised games and sports for example) and the concept of playing for the sake of playing is lost as play becomes more and more structured.

When using the Lego Serious Play Methodology in training, when we put the bricks in front of the participants for the first time, the first thing they do is play for the sake of playing – building what they want. This gets them used to Lego. It also reawakens those memories of innocent learning through fun that we all have inside us from our childhood and these positive vibrations ensure that participants accept the methodology with interest and enthusiasm. On top of that, many people spent hours specifically playing with Lego as children and the positive memories of Lego as a childhood toy also come flooding back.

A few minutes into a Lego Serious Play session and things do of course start to get serious. The bricks become a tremendously flexible tool and it is applied using a very specific protocol that guarantees sincerity trust and creativity. However the foundations of the methodology are based on the elements of play, fun and positive memories. It is always surprising to see participants willingly pick up the bricks and enthusiastically build negative feedback about a person or a process. Difficult or problematic concepts seem to become easier to express.

To sum up, the Lego Serious Play Methodology allows us to play again, reawakening an innate and enjoyable process that we have all experienced. Once awakened, we can then use the bricks to communicate, to learn and to work towards specific predefined objectives.

The Magic of Lego Serious Play 1) “Trust the bricks. The answer is there!”

The Magic of Lego Serious Play 2) The Power of Metaphors

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Regards, , Madrid



The Magic of Lego Serious Play – 2) The Power of Metaphors

Lego Serious Play Magic

The second of a series of posts answering the question “What is the magic behind Lego Serious Play?”.

The Magic of Lego Serious Play 2) The Power of Metaphors

“The metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man”  Jose Ortega y Gasset – Spanish liberal philosopher – 1883 – 1955

  1. Can you express how you feel today in words?
  2. Now, close your eyes and think of an image or an object that represents how you feel today. Easy isn’t it? I’m sure that you can easily describe what you are thinking of so that I can easily understand it (and possibly even draw it for me). I could ask more questions about the image or object you are thinking of and as I do so, you might change or clarify some of the details as the concept becomes clearer to us both.

These are two ways of asking (and responding to) the same question. However, doing so using a metaphor greatly enriches the process and gives us the freedom to be more creative. Also linking two things that on the surface have nothing to do with each other allows us to explore it from a different and more creative perspective.

Whether it be in training, in strategy meetings or in brainstorming sessions, when we use Lego bricks in a Lego Serious Play workshop, 99% of the time we are working with metaphors and we are doing this in a natural, intuitive and playful way. The questions posed, the facilitation and the bricks themselves all invite the natural use of metaphors. This key aspect of the methodology guarantees different results and is part of the magic.

To finish up, how many meanings do you think you can you give to this Lego brick?

Lego Red Brick


In Lego Serious Play workshops I have seen this brick come to represent such differing concepts as bravery, emotions, urgency, objectives, love, compassion, reward, destiny, god etc…

The Lego Serious Play methodology is the perfect tool for freeing our minds, allowing us to explore difficult concepts via metaphors and for facilitating creative communication.

The Magic of Lego Serious Play – 1) Trust The Bricks

Regards,, Madrid.