​A very brief history of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

The serious play story began in 1996 when Institute for Management Development (IMD) professors Johan Roos and Bart Victor created the "serious play" concept and process as a way to enable managers to describe, create and challenge their views of their business. LEGO joined the story during an IMD program for the top 300 leaders in the LEGO® Company.

Roos and Victor presented their early ideas in a short article published by IMD in 1998 entitled "In Search for Original Strategies: How About Some Serious Play?"

Presented with the findings of the work at IMD, LEGO® CEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen sponsored a company under the auspices of LEGO® called Executive Discovery.

Bart Victor led the product development and commercialisation process of Serious Play at Executive Discovery. He invited Robert Rasmussen from LEGO® and Professor Dave Owens from Vanderbilt University to help bring the first product to market. The first "LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®" application was called Real-Time Strategy.

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was developed into a consulting method used by companies including Daimler Chrysler, Roche, SABMiller, Tupperware, Nokia and Orange.

At the same time, Johan Roos and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen established the research effort at the aptly named 'Imagination Lab', a Swiss think tank that between 2001-2006 produced 74 research papers, many journal articles and 4 books.

The result of 15 years development?

A powerful method to solve problems, explore ideas and achieve objectives based on management theory using a toy.

In 2010 LEGO made the method open source. This decision created a community of practice and today, unleashed, today we find the method thriving in a wide range of applications.

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SeriousWork uses the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method described in the LEGO Group Open Source Guide made available by LEGO under a Creative Commons licence ‘Attribution Share Alike’

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