Jet Propulsion Laboratories, the innovation partner of NASA of every manned or unmanned mission since the inception of the space program were stumped when their Apollo program inventors began retiring and they simply could not replace their problem-solving skills, despite hiring the best of the best from MIT, Stanford and CalTec. Closer investigation concluded that recent graduates lacked the play history of their predecessors, who had built box carts, taken apart clocks and fixed appliances as children, suggesting that a 2-million-year-old connection between brain and hand had been mistakenly relegated to tapping keyboards.
LEGO® Serious Play® is a method that reconnects hand and brain, activating the whole brain using visualisation, tactile problem solving, metaphor and storytelling, reconnecting it with our physical faculties in time and space, and enabling a group to respond to complex challenges collectively. It is literally ‘building to think’.
When to use it?
LEGO® Serious Play® is best in settings where complex issues are being explored, especially those that are strategic, cultural and interpersonal in nature. It’s great for developing a collective vision and any form of collaborative innovation when there is no single right answer, or you want everyone’s input.
Our client, a government health agency, asked for a deep dive on how to rapidly re-design patient models of care in an innovative way across the state.
We invited re-design leads from each of the local health districts to come prepared with a patient model of care they were struggling with, we moved them, experientially, through a LEGO® Serious Play® journey.
The group built skills progressively, from individual, to shared, to systemic care models and were able to conceptualise multiple new potential patient pathways using storytelling and metaphors that stretched their own thinking.
The group greatly enhanced their collaborative innovation skills, building and iterating alternate patient care models in quick succession. This method typically receives the highest possible participation and engagement scores.