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Serious Play is a service offered by a LEGO Serious Play Certified Partner. Its aim is to foster creative thinking through team building, using LEGO. Participants work through scenarios using bricks. It was created in the mid-1990s as a way to enable managers to describe, create and challenge their views of their business.
In 2009 the method was developed for use in schools. Teachers are trained to use it with students from 6 years. The objectives are the same; to foster creative thinking and teamwork.
Johan Roos and Bart Victor created the “serious play” concept and process in the mid-1990s as a way to enable managers to describe, create and challenge their views of their business.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, LEGO's CEO at the time, was hesitant, but presented with the early findings he became convinced that Roos and Victor’s ideas had worth and decided to encourage and sponsor a commercial application. As a first step he ensured Roos and Victor could use the talents of designer Paul H. Howells from LEGO Company in UK. This resulted in a company called Executive Discovery that is now a member of the LEGO group of companies.
For the first few years Bart Victor led the product development and commercialization process of Serious Play through Executive Discovery, with which he invited Robert Rasmussen from the LEGO Company and Professor Dave Owens to help bring the first product to market. The first “LEGO Serious Play” application was labelled Real-Time Strategy and is based on the concepts Identity, Landscape and Simple Guiding Principles developed in Johan Roos' 1999 book The Next Common Sense (with Michael Lissack).
Later on, the Executive Discovery team developed and commercialized several other applications. In the following years, LEGO Serious Play was developed into a consulting method used by companies other than LEGO, including Daimler Chrysler, Roche Pharmaceutical, SABMiller, Tupperware, Nokia and Orange. It has also been used in non-profit groups as well as in government (e.g. Danish Patent and Trademark Office).
The company believe in the potential of people and that everyone in a company can help solve problems. They aim for sessions to make everyone more confident and feel strong commitments to their workplace, and to get people motivated. They claim that LEGO works as a catalyst to helping people recognize potential.
Serious Play is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Four sets were released in 2010:
- 2000409 Window Exploration Bag
- 2000413 Connections Kit
- 2000414 Starter Kit
- 2000415 Identity and Landscape Kit
Two were released in 2013: