Hands On Thinking™

The Hands On Thinking™ method is the core of the LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychilogy method as well as a range of other tangible and visual facilitation methods.

The six elements of the Hands On Thinking™ method provides a framework and language that helps participants relay what they know, hope for and seek to do. More importantly it also ensures a structure that enables learning and creative collaboration in groups.

The Hands On Thinking™ method was developed by the Danish expert in organisational learning and development Mads Bab. Through his own action research and supporting research from the science of learning, well-being and positive psychology as well as neuroscience the method outlines the DNA of “thinkering” – The creation and understanding of concepts in the mind while tinkering with the hands.

Hands On Thinking™ extends the open source aspects of LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® as outlined on seriousplay.com. It takes a holistic approach to the method by providing a framework that helps the facilitator look beyond LEGO® bricks onto the purpose and content of the workshop.

By learning how to use the Hands On Thinking™ method as a facilitator you not only learn how to leverage the use of LEGO® in workshops but also how you may use other tangible and visual tools to ensure collaborative learning and sustainable change.

The Hands On Thinking™ (HOT) method consist of these six elements:

  • Purpose of the session;
  • Framing the model building;
  • Sharing narratives and metaphors;
  • Exploring and reflecting together;
  • Combining and connecting to identify patterns and shared stories.
  • Capturing insights and moving forward;

Purpose of the session

Fundamental to any LSP session is the purpose of using the tool. Generally speaking, LSP should never be the goal or purpose of the workshop but “only” the means to explore a topic relevant to you and your participants.

Framing the model building

Framing the model building is a fundamental part of any LSP session. A good framing helps focus attention in the right direction and aligns group members towards the same general idea. Good framing ensures open, insightful and interesting conversations that help participants understand the challenge at hand.

Sharing narratives and metaphors

“Everyone builds – everyone shares” is a core principle of a LSP session and really is the moment in a workshop where the group starts seeing each other’s opinions.

Exploring and reflecting together

While the metaphors that have been modelled are shared it is generally advised just to listen and reflect silently. As a facilitator you may, however, ask exploration questions or encourage other participants to do this. This part of the Hands On Thinking™ method is in many ways what separates a good LSP session from a great one.

Combining and connecting models to identify patterns and shared stories

The connective aspect of LEGO® invites participants to not only connect individual building blocks but also whole models. These can be aligned into a combined narrative, connected to explore systems or organised into themes allowing participants to explore patterns and emergent properties of the challenge at hand

Capturing insights and moving forward

A LSP process enables divergent thinking but every LSP session must end with users moving from simulations to the real world. Capturing the most important insights and develop a way to keep these in the attention of the users is fundamental to ensure a longer lasting effect of a LSP session.