yellow_banner4.jpg
IMG_2512.JPG
S1270058.JPG
IMG_8369.JPG
BB_postcard_duck_page1.jpg
green_banner_withlogo1.jpg
yellow_banner4.jpg

Introduction



"... organisations can generate more innovative strategy content if they make their strategy processes more hands-on and playful."

— Statler, Roos, 2007

 

SCROLL DOWN

Introduction



"... organisations can generate more innovative strategy content if they make their strategy processes more hands-on and playful."

— Statler, Roos, 2007

 

 

BLANKBRICKS designs and facilitates bespoke workshops that address modern business challenges.

 
 

INNOVATION

DEVELOPMENT

STRATEGY

COMPLEXITY

 
 

Using 21st century strategy management and facilitation alongside LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ modelling, BLANKBRICKS workshops quickly give organisations insight into tacit, inchoate and emergent knowledge and quickly get whole-group consensus and reaffirmed commitment on how best to implement it.

 
 

Gain new insights into your business

UOPOV_web.jpg

Understand other points of view

IWR_web.png

Improve working relationships

Enjoy a positive experience

 

 
IMG_2512.JPG

Lego Serious Play Workshops


Lego Serious Play Workshops


 

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is a facilitated business transformation methodology delivered in workshops designed around the assumption that ‘the answers are in the room’.


The quickest way to understand LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is to try it:

 
S1270058.JPG

Benefits of Workshops


Benefits of Workshops


"Developing collective understanding is fundamental to successful organisational activity and requires attention to the discursive activities and structures that enables the process."

- MacPherson, Jones, Oakes, 2006[2]
 
NORMAL BUSINESS MEETING / WORKSHOP LEGO SERIOUS PLAY WORKSHOP
DURATION Variable 4 hrs min - 2 days max
FREQUENCY Variable / Fixed Stand-alone workshops or On-going workshop series
FOCUS Variable Workshop challenges address specific business needs
STRUCTURE Variable Challenges progress towards workshop goals
FORMAT 'Jug & mug'* / 'Chalk n talk'* / PPT / Presentations / Lectures Hands-on / Individual & whole-group construction and co-construction
CONTENT Predetermined & controlled Addresses specific business needs
AIMS Self-interest / Profits / Promotion / Value / Cellular thinking / Teleological Sustainable / Democratised / Balance / Systems thinking / Autotelic
OUTCOMES Predetermined & controlled Emergent / Experimental / Exploratory
NUMBERS Variable 12 Participants max per workshop
PARTICIPATION 20/80 - 20% of people do 80% of talking whilst majority lean backwards and disengage. 100% - Everybody builds, everybody shares and contributes.
NATURE OF DECISIONS Minority / Individual / More analytical Consensus / Collective / Shared / More synthetic
DEPTH OF DECISIONS Variable commitment / Unemotional / Mind-only / Work-mode thinking / 'Tip of the iceberg' 100% Commitment / Emotionally-engaged / Wholehearted / Wholeperson / Mind & body / Play-mode thinking / 'Above and below surface of iceberg'
MISTAKES Undesirable / Catastrophic / Sackable No mistakes in play
MEDIA Pads, Pens, Tablets, Smart Phones, Projector, Screens, Whiteboard, Flipchart 10,000s of LEGO pieces specially selected for LSP kits - intricate 3-D representations of individual participants' takes on specific aspects of their work possible even if new to LEGO system.
* 'Jug & Mug' and 'Chalk & Talk' are metaphors used to describe models of teaching/learning. In both the focus is on the teacher (or speaker) not students or listeners, and on teaching not learning. The 'jug' is the talker or teacher who is 'full of knowledge' and transfers it 'into' passive vessels (students/listeners). 'Chalk n talk' describes old school lessons and lectures where the teacher or speaker talks to a silent audience or class in front of a blackboard or nowadays whiteboard or flip chart on which they write keywords which get copied by students.
 

 


To read about  LEGO SERIOUS PLAY and when to use it in your organisation:

IMG_8369.JPG

Experience Lego


Experience Lego


"Serious play is a process through which people can bring not only cognitions, but also embodied experiences, emotions and social dynamics to bear on their organisational challenges."

- Statler, Oliver, 2007[3]
 
 

GAIN NEW INSIGHTS INTO YOUR BUSINESS

As the quotation above indicates, workshops are not simply about higher-order thought. Playfully building models from LEGO in response to an open challenge initiates an absorbed, non-verbal, hands-on engagement ('Flow'[4]) which accesses deeper, subconscious and more metaphoric and symbolic understanding. Models can have profound meaning as they allow expression of people’s entire raison d’être when it comes to their job so participants in BLANKBRICKS workshops are encouraged to 'just build' without deliberating challenges in order to overcome workplace constraints on inspiration and creativity. Building shared models taps the collective wisdom of the whole group.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY kits are specially varied, intricate and adaptive. The LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology can be made to model dynamic and complex actualities and the hierarchy and flexibility of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY application techniques can precisely plan, map, simulate, track or test today’s strategic knowledge landscapes and hypothetical business scenarios based on how the workshop challenges progress towards achieving the workshop goals and the collective experience and knowledge of the participants in the room. Seeing and playing with 3-D models of current organisational challenges aids visualisation of them and tangibly supports discussion and experimentation with possibilities. Fundamentally, this what sparks workshop eureka moments and more gradual dawning realisations.

BLANKBRICKS workshops are designed to take full advantage of the method's amazing capacity to foster insight, reperception and recontextualisation. By adopting a playful mindset to explore current business issues and by using the adaptable, kinesthetic and spatial aspects of the LEGO system both the mode of thinking about and the medium of representing business are altered. Perceptions are therefore shifted triggering insight enabling generation of innovative strategy content.[5] BLANKBRICKS expertise extends beyond LEGO SERIOUS PLAY into consultancy on all aspects of modern business and technology in order that workshop outcomes can have maximum real world impact.

 

UNDERSTAND OTHER POINTS OF VIEW

Different ideas, opinions and interpretations are necessary for BLANKBRICKS workshop success. In order to reach agreement, first we should accept that we all have different ideas. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY models represent subjective and abstract ideas (whereas children's LEGO models represent real and imaginary things).

Modeling in 3-D makes ideas explicit. It helps form and realise priorities for builders and manifests them for others to interact with which then functions as a basis for further discussion, sensemaking and decision taking. Using models to illustrate ideas of a shared workplace issue enhances mutual understanding by giving visible, tactile, three-dimensional form to the situation or problem 'at hand'. In this sense LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is 'cognitive sculpting' and it is true that, 'We shape our models, and then our models shape us'.[6]

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology makes sure that everybody gets an equal opportunity to contribute to the process. 'Levelling the playing field' or suspending usual power dynamics makes for more egalitarian co-operation, honest communication and wholehearted contributions towards reaching agreement about the workshop's unit of focus. BLANKBRICKS workshops temporarily 'de-emphasise the importance of hierarchical power'[7] making exchange of opinions regarding current strategic issues inclusive and collective.

Shared understanding results in improved team dynamics, reaching consensus more quickly, attaining durable 100% commitment to the workshop outcomes ('buy-in'), compressed development cycles and increased speed to market as well as numerous other emergent and actionable insights.

 

IMPROVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshops are not business as usual. Playing with coworkers changes the mode of interaction allowing people to move beyond their work persona and bring their whole self and emotional hinterland usually reserved for life away from work into workshop discussions via the models. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY participants really get to know coworkers as people which cements and tightens social bonds in teams and organisations.

After the build phase of each challenge everyone takes turns to tell the other participants about their model while everybody else listens. This is where groups begin to build an object mediated, shared narrative understanding of whatever issue or situation they're facing in their organization (the focus of the workshop). Explaining, listening, asking, and discussing via the models using narrative helps people understand each other's perceptions of a shared challenge at work which improves group dynamics because such discussion crystalises thought. Whilst holding or touching and looking at the models, participants verbalise thinking helping them to find the right words to get their ideas across. Intricate, colourful, 3-D LEGO models plus narrative structure illustrates ideas of a shared challenge at work for everybody to identify with.

Exploring and explaining what the models mean together through play and spoken narrative is how LEGO SERIOUS PLAY creates an organisational subculture. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY models do not represent ‘current’ business knowledge in the sense that such knowledge already exists. Instead, knowledge is recast, novel connections are made, and meanings are reformed and realised anew during the workshop through construction and co-construction of LEGO models and discussion of the significances participants are projecting onto them. Through sharing discourse and model making according to the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology, groups literally and metaphorically build teams with unique identities and with enough strength and cohesion to allow open interchange of ideas and opinions leading to unanimous decisions on how to move forward.

Using narrative enriches the mode of interaction between coworkers and changes the way participants relate to each other and their jobs. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY strengthens working relationships magnifying collective focus on and maximising individual engagement with current issues and solutions. BLANKBRICKS business expertise makes sure workshop outcomes are realised in how participants live their job and work together.

 
 
 

ENJOY A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

For many people, especially in larger firms, work is 'like a mild disease' in that they just want it to be over.[8] 'Play' is commonly defined as the opposite of 'work'. The LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method makes work enjoyable by using play.

A playful mindset and creative building and co-creation of LEGO® models alone is enjoyable. BLANKBRICKS workshops are designed to address specific business needs. Workshop challenges focus on actual issues and are left open to each participant’s or the group’s interpretation. Research shows that 'ill-defined' challenges (where what to build and how to build it are open to interpretation) elicit more creative or divergent responses than 'well-defined' challenges (where a photo of a correctly completed model and instructions would be provided like children's LEGO sets) which result in convergent or prescriptive ideas and answers.[9]

The hierarchy of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY application techniques means the methodology can be used successfully in a wide variety of business contexts. Workshop content and aims are based on pre-workshop consultation ensuring BLANKBRICKS facilitated workshops fix on-going real world business problems experienced in teams, departments and firms of all sizes.

Playing with coworkers changes the mode of interaction and building with LEGO changes the medium of representation. Changing the way people model and discuss business using play generates a positive, supportive atmosphere that empowers the creative expression of the organisation's collective imagination and knowledge as applied to the workshop's area of focus.

 
 

INNOVATION

DEVELOPMENT

STRATEGY

COMPLEXITY

 
 

Example 1 : 'To know something means using our hands to construct it... when the PrintCo managers modelled retailers with a friendly face on the front and a tiger crouching behind a wall, at the same time they developed their own knowledge of their complex and taboo-constrained relationship with a new category of customers. Their experience illustrates that sometimes we need to construct something in order to understand what we mean. If we want to understand something together we need to construct that something together.' [10]

 
 
 

Example 2 : 'The workshop revealed the different attitudes, values and beliefs of the team members in terms of their role... The team manager realised during and after the session that his team had fundamentally different approaches to their work role identity... Based on these insights, he was now in a position to train and develop his team members in a personalised fashion and in this way improve the coherence, and ultimately the performance, of this team. For instance, he initiated tailor-made training for each member to target what he considered to be the 'blind spots' of his team, be it content expertise, client focus, or team play. Lastly, he concluded that he would pay even more attention to the values and beliefs of new team members than he had in the past, since the workshop confirmed the relevance of this to the team's success.' [11]

 
 

Complete a simple questionnaire and find out how BLANKBRICKS can help you:

BB_postcard_duck_page1.jpg

About BlankBricks


About BlankBricks


 

BLANKBRICKS

 
 
 
 

Russell Keith MA MSc BSc

Facilitator & Owner

A lifelong interest in architecture and design led to undergraduate and postgraduate research qualifications in art history. Comparison between western European and east Asian history and culture led to study of Chinese science, history, culture and traditional Chinese medicine degrees in London and Beijing (2003-8). A UK Cambridge CELTA (2002) and teaching business and medical English to adult speakers of other languages was an important part of this process as was five years as an IELTS English language speaking examiner and writing marker in northern China (2008-13).

BLANKBRICKS and Serious Play are based on ideas that can be found in The Next Common Sense by Michael Lissack and Johan Roos. Roos and Bart Victor co-invented and developed LEGO SERIOUS PLAY from the mid-1990s. Facilitating workshops requires an interdisciplinary perspective which fuses Lindsay's academic background and business expertise with my learning and teaching experience. Fifteen years in teaching, western arts degrees and Chinese science degrees mean I have a global outlook which underpins my workshop design and facilitation. Helping groups achieve aims and outcomes has never been deeper quicker or as much fun.

 
 

Lindsay Keith MA MBA

Consultant & Owner

Having successfully led and managed teams in digital transformation, innovation and intrapreneurship for over fifteen years drawing on studies and qualifications in technology (1989-91), social sciences (1993-1996) and business (2006-7), I have consulted to many start ups, SMEs and large blue chip clients. I design award winning, inspirational user-centred business solutions using my design methodology which has a proven track record of new business growth, happier employees and more satisfied customers. 

BLANKBRICKS is where Russ and I share our vision and experience to assist clients with positive business change in a sustainable, respectful and people-centred manner by designing and delivering workshops that enable the expression of the entirety of knowledge, experience and collective energy  in organisations.

In my experience LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is one of the most efficient and effective methodologies that can be used to identify and action new or existing organisational challenges and promote individual and collective growth in a workshop medium.

 

 

 
green_banner_withlogo1.jpg

Contact BlankBricks


Contact BlankBricks


Aligning minds

 

 
Name *
Name
Telephone / Mobile
 
 

tw: @blankbricks 

econtact@blankbricks.com             

t: (+44) 0203 179 1230