Digital Transformation Journey: Building Strategies with the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method

Kat Dacusin
March 28, 2019

A digital transformation journey requires meticulous planning.  As you’re reading this, you may still be considering which particular technology (Robotic Process Automation, Data Analytics, Automated Software Testing, Cybersecurity, or other technologies) to kick off your digital transformation efforts with. Or you may be further back and brewing up strategies. Wherever you are in the process, a digital transformation journey entails a lot of hard work.

However as the popular adage goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This means Jacks (and Jills) should allot time for “play” or fun things to do outside of work.

What if work and play don’t have to be mutually exclusive? Moreover, what if the more you play, the more work you can accomplish?

This is where LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method enters the picture.

Pointwest leaders from Center of Excellence, Market Circle, and Human Capital Management groups played with and came up with strategies using LEGO bricks at the workshop entitled “Building the Pointwest 3.0 Ecosystem using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method” on March 7, 2019, Thursday, 9:30-4:30 p.m. at the Rockwell Business Center Tower 3, Ortigas. Sherwin Pelayo, Pointwest Head of Strategic Partners & Alliances and a certified facilitator of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method and materials led the workshop.

What is the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology?

According to the official website, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology is “an innovative process designed to enhance innovation and business performance”. The methodology promotes hands-on learning, creativity, problem-solving, and communication. This is achieved by requiring participants to answer questions by constructing models out of LEGO bricks. Afterwards, each workshop attendee will present his/her respective LEGO model to the group. In the process, ideas and solutions may come out.

Participants are encouraged to “think with their hands” and not overanalyze. The models don’t have to be works of art. What is important is the metaphors attached to the model, and not how it looks like.

The method can be applied in most fields which need to explore ingenious solutions, and there are even specific applications for Software Engineering.
LEGO Serious Play Workshop Collage


Holding a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop requires the following:

  • Facilitator – A LEGO SERIOUS PLAY session is led by a certified facilitator who will guide the group by providing prompts on the concepts of the LEGO models.
  • Participants – Number of participants may vary, but since every member of the group is required to share at every session, small groups are better if a particular time frame (e.g. a day or less) is being considered.
  • Materials – LEGO SERIOUS PLAY Kits contain an extensive selection of bricks, minifigure parts, animals, wheels, trees, globes, ladders, and many more. It also includes base plates and sorting trays.

Do You Need the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology?

According to Mr. Pelayo, the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method is suited for organizations who have the following circumstances that may be encountered in a digital transformation journey:

  • Experiences complicated challenges that are multi-faceted with no clear answers;
  • Deals with a diverse team in terms of age, rank, and professional background;
  • Needs everyone to contribute knowledge and opinions on level ground;
  • Needs honest dialog and collaborative communication;
  • Needs to have a common understanding and a frame of reference that affects your work as an organization;
  • Needs to see the big picture, to visualize connections, to elaborate on different options, and to test potential solutions ;
  • Needs to get everyone’s commitment even though the agreement to decisions isn’t 100%.

What can LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methodology teach you about your Digital Transformation Journey?
digital transformation photo

There are several lessons that can be learned from the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method that can be applied to your Digital Transformation journey.

Remember that Everything is Built One Brick at a Time

“Rome wasn’t built in one day”, and similarly, digital transformation isn’t realized instantly. Like with most cases of implementing new systems, digital transformation starts with incremental progress. And this isn’t a bad thing. Rushing through the process may result in an unstable structure which will easily topple down.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshops likewise employ a gradual process, as it starts from the simple and gets more and more complex. For example, the workshop may start with the task of building a tower. Later, the tasks will gradually evolve to metaphorical representations. The concepts of the models also start with things related to self, and later to the team, then to the whole organization.

Compel Everyone to Speak Out

During business meetings, some members may be too shy to express their opinions in the fear that others will think their ideas are sub-par. In effect, they tend to simply go with the flow of the meeting. However, sometimes the million dollar idea may reside in the minds of these people. It will be a waste not to hear everyone out. Even if the ideas themselves will not be the exact solutions, they might be the missing link needed to discover answers.

In LEGO SERIOUS PLAY sessions, each participant of the workshop is given a chance to speak. One of the principles of the workshop states that all participants are not allowed to vocally criticize others’ ideas. This ensures that every person in the room can share their ideas without fear of judgment.

Work and Play

Don’t forget to have fun in the process! A digital transformation journey is exciting because you get to witness firsthand as innovative technologies are incorporated one by one, and you get to see how the “routinary” can become revolutionary. Through these digital solutions, you may possibly even get spared from boring work and have time for more engaging tasks. You may see your work with fresh eyes.

Who would have thought that something as fun and easy as tinkering with LEGO bricks can possibly help your team come up with the best strategies? This shows that toiling away for important decisions doesn’t have to be uninspiring.

Whether you are from Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Airlines and Transportation, Supply Chain, or other industries, you may want to consider undergoing a digital transformation journey, and the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method to make that transition smoother.

LEGO, SERIOUS PLAY, the Minifigure and the Brick and Knob configurations are trademarks of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this website. © 2019 The LEGO Group

About Pointwest

Founded in 2003 by pioneers of the Philippine Global Sourcing industry, Pointwest creates value for its list of satisfied clients — including top Fortune 100 and local companies — with world-class digital innovation and IT modernization services backed by international-standard methodologies, and innovative practices.