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Building a Better Business Using the Lego Serious Play Method by Per Kristiansen, Robert Rasmussen

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Introduction—The Journey!

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method as we know it today is the result of a journey that took its first steps more than 15 years ago. It did not come about because of a conscious, long-term, premeditated strategy to expand the LEGO Company's reach into a new market segment. It was not the brainchild of a marketing department reacting to market demand or coming up with a new bright idea.

We call it LEGO SERIOUS PLAY today; but when it started, it didn't even have a name. It was as an idea for internal use, a wish for more imaginative ways of developing the company's strategic direction and plans, for unlocking the human potential in the organization.

Back in 1994, LEGO was—as it still is—a privately owned company. Owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, whom we introduced in the Preface, was also the CEO of the company at the time. LEGO had being riding a wave of success for more than 20 years; the outlook for the future was bright. There were only a few dark clouds in the horizon. New toys like video games were entering the market, and children were playing differently; growing older younger was the term often used.

LEGO was starting to feel the impact of these changes, so Kirk Kristiansen naturally turned his attention to the ways and techniques that he and his leadership team used when developing their strategies. He was not very happy with the outcome of their sessions. While their business was about creativity and imagination, the way that they went about developing ...

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