An Introduction to LEGO Serious Play

Pile of lego bricks on a table

Six months ago a colleague told me about his experience with LEGO Serious Play.  It sounded so fascinating, I wanted to know more about this experiential process that produced such incredible results.  That’s when I discovered that Alan Branagh, one of the most experienced LEGO Serious Play facilitators was based right here in Northern Ireland, so I set up a taster session – I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those familiar LEGO bricks I played with as a child.


The session was very informal and we started with a simple exercise.


Challenge 1: build the tallest free-standing structure using all the Lego pieces in the ‘fiddle bag’ and the Lego man must be at the top.   You have 2 minutes – GO!


The results were very interesting.  Not one person had built the same 3D model, each one was completely unique and yet we’d all been given the same set of requirements.  Some had board, solid foundations whilst others had built skyscrapers with the man at the top.  Alan facilitated a short conversation which allowed us to explore why we built what we did, the way we did.

Challenge 2: build a 3D model to represent your current business challenge using any of the pieces of Lego.

Figure 1: 3D model of my business challenge.

Figure 1: 3D model of my business challenge.
Figure 1 depicts the 3D model of my business challenge.  When I’d finished, Alan asked me to explain what the different pieces represented in relation to my business challenge.  He then asked what changes I would make to the model if it was no longer a challenge.  I made a couple of very simple changes, explained why and was left with actions that could be implemented that would affect real change.  What happened next is unbelievable.  I came out of a meeting the following morning and read an email that completely turned by business challenge around and surpassed my goal, an incredibly tangible result!I am not sure what was more impressive, how much fun I had creating a metaphor of a business problem with LEGO bricks or the results that came shortly after exploring new approaches to my challenge.  The experience of LEGO Serious Play is a type of problem-solving methodology that Olenick would like to bring to every engagement, so….Olenick is bringing LEGO Serious Play to Digital DNA so delegates can experience the difference experiential learning can bring to any business challenge.