The System version of LEGO Serious Play

An approach that enables the freedom and confidence to do.

April 26, 2024
·
4 min read
a woman playing with lego bricks

This article is part of our series dedicated to the world of Serious Games and it is also available in Italian and in Spanish.

If you would like to receive updates on this and other topics related to the evolving world of work, subscribe to our newsletter here: https://cocoon-pro.com/#subscribe

To find out more, or get your organisation involved in this approach, contact us here: https://cocoon-pro.com/get-in-touch/


What has always made playing with LEGO® unique is the fact that the bricks provide the freedom to invent a different game each time. Unlike other “coded” toys like a doll or a car, LEGO® doesn’t dictate how to play but simply invites you to do so. Being a system of games was the turning point that determined LEGO®’s success, allowing the world’s most famous bricks to accompany the growth of entire generations of children (and adults!) for decades!

But how does all this connect to the System version of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®?

Let’s step back a few years.

Since 1995, when Johan Ross and Bart Victor glimpsed the opportunity to use the bricks in the business world, LEGO® ceased to be just a game and became a tool for the evolution of individuals, teams, and organizations. In 2010, while the method spread thanks to its extraordinary power to help people achieve results that are hardly attainable with other tools, LEGO® decided to release the methodological concept underlying LSP as Open Source. This provided the opportunity for various communities worldwide to continue researching, developing, and experimenting to give life to different ways of applying the method.

In 2016, a group of facilitators with extensive experience in LSP and Serious Games, coming from Italy, Spain, England, and several Latin American countries, noticed that something was “starting to crack” in some of the methodological approaches proposed up to that point because they had lost the guiding principle that made LEGO® unique in the world: there is no single way to play!

It is following this intuition that this group of facilitators began developing the Serious Games System in those years, an extensive and flexible application system for serious games, from which the System version of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was born.

Building upon and preserving the methodological foundations of LSP released as Open Source by LEGO®, this version opens up new possibilities for using the method because it is not based on rigid techniques and rules but helps play within constraints, allowing infinite applications that better adapt to contexts, situations, and dynamics.

The System version does not oblige the facilitator to follow codified methodological steps but guides the design of workshops with two simple questions.

Why are we playing?

The answer to this question is guided by 3 application phases.

  • Insights: when we play to explore complex themes in depth.
  • Possibilities: when we aim to generate and focus on new options and possibilities.
  • Decisions: when we want to make effective decisions.

How do we want to play?

In answering this, 5 game schemas come into play.

  • Heed: the game focuses on the person.
  • Explore: to explore information.
  • Align: to align viewpoints.
  • Relate: to investigate, describe, and understand relationships between elements.
  • Transform: to understand how the system could or should change through the modification and transformation of content, relationships, actors, positions, roles.

The possible combinations of phases and play patterns are endless, and therefore, the System version of the method offers flexibility and versatility that have remained unexplored until now. Depending on the group, context, and situation, the facilitator can combine phases and patterns in the most useful way to achieve the objectives at hand.

So, there isn’t just one way to use the method but infinite playing possibilities!

During one of the workshops organized by Cocoon Pro to learn how to design and facilitate workshops with the LSP method, a participant said:

“In this approach, I see the freedom and confidence to do so.”

And that’s exactly it. Just as the bricks provide children with the freedom to invent new stories, situations, and worlds every day, the System version of the LSP method allows the facilitator to combine its constituent elements in endless different ways to best help teams, organizations, and individuals discover, experiment, and express their full potential.

Sprouting from a decade-long collaboration and deeply grounded in years of action research and experimentation at international level, we have created the Serious Games System (SGS) methodology as the most adaptive and comprehensive paradigm for the use of serious games, designed to put people at the center.

If you are passionate about using serious games to unlock human potential, don’t miss the SGS Open Source Playbook: download it here or reach out to us at play@cocoon-pro.com


You might also be interested in reading: “What is serious play for? Where is it beneficial to take it?”


This article is part of our series dedicated to the world of Serious Games and it is also available in Italian and in Spanish.

If you would like to receive updates on this and other topics related to the evolving world of work, subscribe to our newsletter here: https://cocoon-pro.com/#subscribe

To find out more, or get your organisation involved in this approach, contact us here: https://cocoon-pro.com/get-in-touch/

This is the account of our staff at Cocoon Pro. Wish to know who are the people in Cocoon curating our content production?Have a look at the people page on our website here. For any question or feedback we would be happy to hear from you! Reach out here: hello@cocoon-pro.com