In LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®
You don’t discover the LEGO BRICKS,
You let the LEGO BRICKs discover you
This is equally applicable on two sides of the same coin.
First Side of the coin: For Participants Letting the LEGO BRICKS Discover You:
I often get asked by the participants, which also is most frequently asked question: Why do you want us to Think with our Hands, in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) workshop?
I have started observing a pattern across all LSP workshops of different kinds. This question forms the basis of initial apprehensions or inhibitions of the participants. Eventually, midway through or towards the end of the workshop, the participants say one of their profound aha moments were when they discovered few LEGO Bricks and furthermore, they also discovered how to build a model out of those bricks. Participants are quite amused and happy with this realization.
This is where I further probe them in an informal casual conversation over post-workshop teatime. Did you really discover the bricks or did the bricks discover you? Which is the bigger part of the discovery and what does it mean?
When we say think with your hands, as a facilitator, we want the participants to go deeper into their subconscious understanding and bring out insights from deep within. While thinking about the question posed by the facilitator, fiddling with the bricks actually unlocks certain patterns and that resonates with few odd-shaped bricks which then creates an instant bond with the model builder.
The bricks owing to the colors, shape, forms by default become a medium for accelerating the deep dive into the subconscious thought process and unravels patterns of mental models flashing within one’s mind and thus helps participants create a syntax of their own in 3D Form, wherein the bricks just become an enabler. This entire process happens repeatedly over multiple iterations every second, hence a builder inadvertently chooses the bricks not realizing that the bricks have actually triggered an unleash of the thinking and there is a certain kind of bond or attachment made between the builder and the bricks. Thus, making the builder misinterpret it like the bricks become a discovery for them.
What I have mentioned about is just a simplified way of putting forth the theory of Constructionism & Constructivism
Second Side of the coin: For LSP Facilitators Letting the Lego Bricks discover you:
After every workshop, within 24-48 hours, I religiously take it upon me, to break the models (of the lastly build models), make piles of bricks and sort them back to the respective kit, so as to be prepared for the next workshop. This has become a passion for me.
While breaking the models and sorting the bricks, I as a facilitator am also unknowingly THINKING with my Hands, wherein the bricks again play the major role of helping me unlock the insights on, what went right, what went wrong and lessons learned for next workshop. During this phase, while breaking or sorting, certain bricks suddenly strike a chord with a finding and I internally exclaim, oh I never knew this brick could unravel certain insights. I have observed that in each session of post-workshop brick sorting activity, I have found resonance with a new set of bricks. Over a period of time, I have realized that this is actually, breaking off an existing mental model within me about the workshop or its design. It recreates a new perspective about the questions posed and the insights that were unleashed, thereby refining within me the skills of a facilitator and an incremental understanding of the designing process for the workshop. Thus, again as a facilitator, it’s not that I have discovered a brick (it’s been sitting in the kits since the day I started playing with them), it’s actually the bricks discovering me and my skills of being a facilitator
Workshop after workshop, the question of “Did the Bricks discover you?” has resulted in creating a long-lasting amaze and WOWness for LSP.
Background: From Jan 2019- August 2019, In India, I have been instrumental in organizing and executing 6-8 LinkedIn Local Event in India, across 6-8 cities, each consisting of 40-100 participants, facilitated by a group of 4-8 certified LSP facilitators, over a timeframe of 2 to 3 hours. These were teaser workshops of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY with the aim to inculcate awareness for LSP in the ecosystem.