Posts tagged ‘theory’

May 20, 2016

The relationship between Business & Design: the Lego Serious Play case

The relationship between business and design has gone through deep changes in the past years. We are assisting at a convergence between business and design lead by the formalisation and adoption of design thinking and the revelation that good design is good business: many approaches from design have migrated into business and management enhancing the potential of business focused companies.

But there is a very special case of a method that was developed as an answer to a business need that has successfully migrated to design practices.

This is the case of Lego Serious Play: developed from the ’90s to improve the quality of strategic development meetings it has now been adopted by design companies to enhance creative processes, collaboration among different department, promote co-creation and participative design that includes customers, users, designers, and stakeholders.

Presented at #CassCreativity Seminar series on May 4th 2916, you can watch the whole Storyfy from this Link.

June 7, 2013

Jamming with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY: the 5 variables of Workshop Design

LSP @ GovJam

LSP @ GovJam

What if I apply LEGO SERIOUS PLAY to a Jam?

I should not ask myself such questions, because when I ask myself this, I want to find out the answer. So, my latest experiment was applying LSP to a GovJam. For those who are unfamiliar with the Jam concept, a Gov or Service Jam is a global event, taking place simultaneously all around the world for 48 hours, where participants, called jammers, are called to design a service or a product on a common secret theme, which is revealed just at the beginning of the Jam. The name Jam is taken by music: in a jam session musicians improvise on a common theme and make music together. The idea in a Jam of ideas, is the same: let people improvise and jam with their ideas to make new ideas together.
In a GovJam, the goal is to design a service aimed at the local public administration. Knowing how LSP can be flexible and how helpful it is when it comes to define a common topic and for team building, I thought it could be an exciting challenge to imagine and design a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop to enhance creativity and let people to jam ideas with bricks.

This turned out to be an exciting designing exercise which has been demanding but rewarding as well. Designing an LSP workshop for a Jam, revealed a number of key differences with the design of a ‘traditional’ workshops and this challenge lead to a dynamic, exciting and challenging workshop management. Thanks to the experience, I have had kind of a guerilla training in managing the unexpected and I have learnt a number of useful issues which will be useful for future workshop design.
So, I have identified 5 variables that should be taken into consideration when designing a workshop in any other situation where nothing is given and everything is improvised and based on the play-do-play-do mantra.

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February 23, 2013

Play to build organisations’ social capital

Social Capital is more than the individual / human capital- Build it with LEGO

The simplest questions are the toughest to be faced. Methodologies like LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) are said and proved to have a huge effect on organisations. Right, organisations. But what are organisations? And how LSP can be beneficial?
It might sound a stupid question, though I think that there are no stupid questions just wrong assumptions. In order to  better understand the context, I had a look to some classical authors in organisational theory. I’ve looked back at what literature says about organisations: literature is still a huge resource when it is part of a search for answers. I’ve started with classics, those authors that most managers today should be familiar with to better understand the context as it is.
Weick (1979) says that organisations are ‘identifiable social entity pursuing multiple objectives through the coordinated activities and relations among members and objects’ (:3) and later, in 1984, Daft & Weick write that organisations are ‘open systems that process information from the environment’ (:285) so that are seen as meaning systems (:293).
Scott (1987) focus on people when stating that “organisations are social structures created by individuals to support the collaborative pursuit of special goals” (:10).
Chia (2000 :514) says that organisations are social objects constituted by discourse.
The social nature of organisations seems clear: organisations are made by people.

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January 21, 2013

Connecting the Bricks

Why did I ever get so much into the bricks?

I used to play with LEGO when I was a child, like most children of my generation: my father dreamt of having an Architect daughter one day. He’d never imagined that instead of becoming an Architect and follow his dreams, I’d have kept playing with the bricks my way.

After 4 years of experiments, study and research – mostly done almost hidden in my room on my own – I have just came out and simply have found out that there was another way to delve into the power of LEGO, not as a mere playing toy, but as powerful tool to be used to find out more about ourselves, both as individuals – like the bricks’ based interviews – and as part of  larger, mutually related and dependent organism, with LSP.

The way we talk and think, how we conceptualise the world and the words we use to picture our world, are just bricks of our minds, where material bricks come as a precious aid to better connect our inner thoughts.

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January 7, 2013

Insights on the Method: building models to explore ideas

Hands on Bricks - LegoViews at work

Lego Interviews produce new ideas

LEGO-interviews are an innovative investigative method to delve into reality developed by Patrizia Bertini starting from the basic theoretical principles of constructionism and from a deep knowledge and experience with underlying LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP).

This interviewing method has been developed to challenge traditional journalism, as an attempt to explore the world through other people’s perception of reality and their views.

Journalistic interviews are generally based on well defined dynamics, on journalists’ capacity and on a constant tension between the interviewer and the interviewees. There is a large literature about this and there are experts who specifically train politicians and influent public people on how to handle and conduct interviews in order to dominate the conversation and to provide a good and safe image of themselves. And there are also a number of books and essays that teach journalists how to make effective interviwes. Everything is codified, recognisable and known.

LEGO-interviews’ challenge is that of radically changing the psychological and relational dynamics between the journalist and the interviewee so that the cognitive processes underlying the interaction are completely different: the interviewer and the interviewee are not anymore opponents but they collaborate, they literally construct the interview together with an original process that produces unexpected contents which most the time surprise the interviewees too.

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September 21, 2012

LegoViews or Legoviews?

Creative processes always require time and the more difficulties and challenges they face, the more the resulting projects are innovative and original.

I have found myself playing around with LSP (Oops, I did it again!) and LegoViews a lot and the newest projects will be shortly revealed. In the meantime, while I am allowed to disclose the very first new initiative I have been working on, I have opened a FaceBook LegoViews‘ page: feel free to join!

Recently I have been pointed out that I spell both LegoViews and Legoviews and actually, there’s a reason for this, which might be subtle, but it makes a lot of difference.

LegoViews [LWs] is the Method: LEGO are the tool used to extract Views, to delve into human perceptions and representations, to discover and to create new meanings. It’s a modern maieutic approach based on the constructionist theories, which has been developed from LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. It’s actually my main personal challenge and the result of three years of thinking, testing and learnig by doing.

LegoViews is more than a way to challenge traditional journalism: it’s an attempt to explore the world through other people’s perception of reality and their views of the world. It’s a way to build worlds with words through unusual and different cognitive mechanisms.

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January 5, 2012

Israel and Palestine through the Looking-Bricks

My travelmates

My travelmates

I’ve spent 10 days traveling around Israel and Palestine. It was just me and my LEGO bricks, a pretty good company. I have met a lot of people, have talked to anyone, have tried to understand their world and the complex reality they live in.

I went there because I wanted to understand what the whole Israeli and Palestinian conflict was about: media all over the world constantly tell stories about what is going on, there are thousands of publications of all sorts and all parts. I was not able to make my mind, I wanted to explore such a complex reality and see what all that was about. And I wanted to do it my way, pushing the bricks further, trying to explore the reality Israeli and Palestinians experience every day. I was not interested in political talks or in the usual rhetoric speeches, I wanted to see the world these people experience with their eyes. I had no bias, since I could not embrace either of the extreme positions I had been reading about, and LEGO were a perfect mean – they offered me a method where my question could be neutral and unbiased, so that all the relevant issues would emerge spontaneously from the models interviewees would build.
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December 24, 2011

A Christmas Carol: LegoViews’ Ghost of an Idea

Getting Ready for the Next Legoviews

Getting Ready for the Next Legoviews

Recently, one of the questions I’ve been asked the most is how did I come up with the idea of LegoViews. So, since it’s Christmas, it’s a good time for stories and here’s the story.

When I’ve started my PhD almost 3 years ago, I was obsessed with my ontological view and spent months trying to find the right approach to tackle my research questions. I ended up embracing Social Constructivism and in particular John Searle’s approach. But once I defined the theoretical framework, I needed to find a research method which were constructive enough and which could help me to highlight how social realities are built.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on methods, did my duties reading books and papers about the traditional methods used in social sciences: survey, interviews, focus groups… None of them was fitting enough into my idea – I wanted something more challenging and something which could explain and show the processes and which could materialize somehow the construction of social realities.
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December 16, 2011

LegoViews and Socrates’ Midwife

LegoViews Key ideas

According to Wikipedia, “An interview is a conversation between two people (the interviewer and the interviewee) where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee.”

LegoViews (LWs) do not much differ in the aim, though they deeply differ in the cognitive mechanisms they involve and in the process. Most of the best interviews we can think of, realised by investigative journalists, deeply delve topics in an argumentative way and the interview, in most cases, it’s a dialectic and cognitive fight between the interviewer and the interviewee. John Pilger, for instance, and most investigative journalists, are masters in the art of challenging their interviewee and dominate the dialectic fight.

LegoViews are not fights, they are collaborative dialogues, they are conversations.
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