Throughout history, the term imagination has had many different cultural and linguistic connotations. All share the basic idea that humans have a unique ability to form images or to imagine something, not only to mirror reality but also to transcend it. Imagination is our mental capacity to conceive of what is not—an ability that's central to the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method. It's part of our goal to make people lean forward, unlock new knowledge, and break habitual thinking—all of which we want them to apply to enterprise, team, and personal development. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY should allow people to discover new realities and possibilities—in psychologist John Dewey's words, “to look at things as if they could be otherwise.”
People often use the terms imagination and creativity interchangeably; however, this is imprecise at best or incorrect at worst. They are related, of course; if imagination is the ability to conceive of what is not, then creativity, in turn, is imagination applied. For example, members of a company are using their imaginations if they are trying to come up with ways to become more competitive in the marketplace. They are acting creatively when they actually do lower their prices and change their customer service because they have applied their imaginations.
Countless books and publications have been written about imagination. In the context of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, the term implies not one, but at least three meanings: