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Sep 30, 2020

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® – a remote success

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is based on haptic experiences, on playfully discovering the blocks and grasping the models. Impossible in times of Corona and remote work? Not with us: At the SAP UX Summit, we demonstrated how you can even build models together virtually. To this end, we relied on good preparation, remote tools and flexibility.

Thoughts in 3D

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is creative, open and activating. Building helps the participants make abstract ideas palpable and bring new ideas to life. In the co-creative process, complex questions can be visualized in 3D models. This makes correlations easier to see and to remember.

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But how exactly does LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® work? The participants of the SAP UX Summit had the opportunity to get to know the approach in a remote workshop. And one thing became clear very quickly: Building cannot be replaced by virtual tools. Therefore, the 16 participants were asked to bring their ideas to an analog life with LEGO® anyway. So, prior to the workshop, all participants were surprised with two LEGO® Exploration Bags. These contained 46 different bricks, figures and a baseplate each.

Palpable storytelling

Whether a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop takes place on site or online – it always deals with a specific question. To answer this question, the participants build a 3D model. In our remote workshop, our subject was – quite obviously – the current Corona situation: What effects does the current situation have on your work life? The participants made their views of the advantages and disadvantages of working from home and remote work palpable in their LEGO® models. In breakout sessions, teams of two presented their results to each other, focusing on the story behind the model, not on the best combination of bricks.

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A common (virtual) understanding

After the building phase, it’s time for an exchange: Usually, a so-called “shared model” is built in this phase using the individual models. Building a model together? Impossible in a remote setting. For us as moderators, this meant that we had to find a new solution that works remotely. Here, the online tool Mural came into play. On a digital whiteboard, we combined the individual models using photos. This helped us gain a common understanding of the chances and challenges posed by the current working situation.

"Shapes were shaping my thoughts"

Our conclusion: "LEGO® works, even remotely". Nevertheless, there is a lot for moderators to bear in mind. Our most important finding: Allow for ample time. In the preparation and during the workshop alike, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® takes more time remotely than face to face. For some participants, using the whiteboard tool was a challenge and it took them a moment to come to terms with the technology. In order to prevent technical problems and to use the time sensibly, the online setting should be installed and tested in advance. Despite the physical distance, the participants enjoyed the building activities and discussions. "Shapes were shaping my thoughts" was the conclusion of one of the participants. He couldn’t have paid us moderators a nicer compliment as it shows that we succeeded in conveying our enthusiasm for the method and its benefits – despite the remote setting.

We look forward to making your ideas and visions palpable in LEGO® workshops – be it online or on site.

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