Edinburgh-based Lindsay Yeoman has taken his love of LEGO to another level by embracing the latest phenomenon that’s sweeping boardrooms around the world
Meet Lindsay Yeoman, a business development manager at the Registers of Scotland (RoS) who might just have one of the most enviable sidelines in the world.
As well as leading the account management team at RoS, Yeoman is also a certified LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator.
This means he plans, designs and delivers bespoke workshops using LEGO to help companies think out of the box.
Jealous yet? We know we certainly are.
But it’s not all just fun and games. There is a serious note to Yeoman’s love of LEGO, which he uses to help firms better problem solve and get creative.
In fact, the use of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is an approach that’s gaining serious traction in boardrooms worldwide.
Here, Yeoman explains how the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY phenomenon is not only helping transform businesses here in the east of Scotland, but how it might just have saved the LEGO brand itself.
“As a kid of the 90s, I grew up playing in a world beginning a love affair with computers and video games,” says Yeoman.
“My older brother packed up his LEGO collection to welcome the first ever computer in our house – an Amiga 500+ – introducing us to classics such as Lemmings and Paper Boy.”
“What was happening in our house and most others across the globe, presented a real risk that the humble LEGO brick was soon to be added to the scrap heap.
“LEGO was in trouble and needed to change.
“CEO of the time, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen teamed up with two professors, Johan Roos and Bart Victor, from the prestigious IMD business college in Switzerland to shake things up. After more than 20 interactions, the team had a philosophy they believed could help change their business – and businesses around the globe, forever.
“LEGO sponsored the proprietary methodology and called it LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. They were right. In 2014 LEGO became the largest toy company in the world and, in 2015, LEGO displaced Ferrari to be named the world’s most powerful brand.
“LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is now an open-source format and is gaining traction in boardrooms worldwide.
“It works because ‘thinking with your hands’ inspires creativity, and encourages focusing on the most important thoughts and feelings on the topic at hand when building metaphorical representations of complex ideas.
“It works because the quick pace keeps the conversation moving and forthright.
“And, perhaps most importantly, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is fun! Building and story-telling is fun – there’s a lot of laughter.”
So what is LEGO SERIOUS PLAY and how can it help your business?
“At its core, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is an application of learning theory and structured facilitation to stimulate imagination, engagement and collaboration in a business setting,” says Yeoman.
“It draws on the learning theories of constructivism and constructionism, play, metaphors and imagination.
“During a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY experience, the facilitator leads a group through an action-packed series of building challenges in response to specifically tailored questions which are focused on a team problem, recent project, or ideas for pursuing a new opportunity.
“Everyone builds for just a few minutes, then everyone tells a quick story about their model.
“Depending on the workshop objectives various shared building, landscape creation and playing emergence exercises may follow.”
LEGO SERIOUS PLAY has many applications and has been used by a wide range of organisations looking for alternatives ways to:
Build or integrate new teams
Develop existing teams
Make meetings more effective
Generate new solutions to complex challenges
Unite a team around a common goal or vision
Build broader understand or a challenge or strategy
Explore new products or concepts
Make sure everyone’s voice is heard
Obtain stakeholder insight
Spark imagination at team away days
Want to know more about LEGO SERIOUS PLAY?
LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is a workshop experience for teams that is custom designed for your business. If you would like to know more, contact Lindsay Yeoman – certified LEGO SERIOUS PLAY at Boardroom Bricks based in Edinburgh.