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Conference closure with Lego Serious Play

We used the Lego Serious Play method at the closure of the Bridge2Food 11th Food Proteins Course 2016  with 100 scientists to facilitate them to stay connected with each other after the Conference.

99% of the participants had never heard about the Lego Serious Play method, and were happy learn about this new method.

This ‘Lego Serious Play conference closure’ was initiated and organized by Gerard Klein Essink of Bridge2Food and executed by me with the help of co-facilitators. Gerard and me have an innovation partnership under the new Bridge2Food Academy where more and more in-company programs can be booked.

How to get 100 scientists silent within 5 minutes?

We gave them an easy start to get acquainted with the bricks. We handed out small personal bags with Lego Serious Play bricks and asked the participants to build their Tower, in silence. Within 5 minutes all 100 participants were silent. At their table they explained to the other participants what was special about their Tower.

How to get scientists puzzled?

Then we had a more challenging question: “Build a model of your key lesson learned from this Course”. Some participants started building immediately, others looked puzzled. We pushed them: ”Hands on the bricks!; just start building and let your intuition do the job”. Soon we saw beautiful models! The participants explained their model to each other which gave good insights into their key learnings from the Conference.

How to get connected?

Next we asked the participants to connect their models and see how their key lessons are similar, or how they could add to each other, or how they could help and stay connected after the Conference. At several tables we were happy to see that all individual models got connected! Pictures were taken of the models with the participants, and business cards were shared….

Building the Lego Serious Play models and the discussions at the tables helped the participants to draw their personal conclusions from the Conference and to establish continued connections with other participants.

Mission completed!


The participants have learned about the Lego Serious Play method and may want to use it in their company for example for:

  • Innovation strategic workshops;  visualize and conceptualize your vision, contribution and innovation.
  • New product development: visualize and discuss your  new product idea and build a product concept together
  • Create a team working space at the start and during an innovation project
  • Manage innovative projects
  • For more examples; see the Lego Serious Play website

One of the participants said “I see this for stimulating creative thought in settings such as ideation, project management and teambuilding”.

Application of Lego Serious Play in your company

We see the following benefits of the Lego Serious Play method application in your company:

  1. It is about what you can SEE, rather about what you THINK. Team and project discussions are centered around what one thinks, rather than sees … You will know that it is hard to have an open discussion about thinking as it is often biased by your own thoughts, ideas and opinions. With Lego Serious Play it is all about the experience of looking at something a colleague has created and it is less about good or bad. Discussions are much more open and valuable.
  2. The Lego Serious Play method enables the group to make discussions about personal or department relationships less biased. It is not easy to talk about your view on the performance of a part of the team, right? The Lego Serious Play bricks, which are in the middle of the group, can be moved around the table. Project members can talk about the bricks, while they address the project or team issues in an indirect way. The bricks transform into a metaphor of your thoughts, opinion or expression.
  3. The 3rd benefit focuses on creating a 3D space (rather than on a flipover with yellow Post-its), where the strong and weak links between the various parts of the project or team can be visualized. This is a much stronger way of displaying the connectivity and inter-dependency of the various team members or project activities.

For more information

This ‘Lego Serious Play conference closure’ was facilitated by Nel Mostert, with the help of co-facilitators:  Antoinette Middeldorp, Willianne Bovens and  Katinka Bergema.

Please contact me if you would like to learn more about the Lego Serious Play method, the facilitation of  your workshop and the Bridge2Food Academy.

Nel Mostert / +31610171412building-models

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