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Creating the Business Model Canvas Using Lego Serious Play

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There have been a number of attempts to combine visual thinking with other tools and it could be interesting to combine two visual facilitation techniques. Marko Rillo, Strategy Consultant and Owner of “5 MPC”, facilitates the creation of Business Model Canvas using Lego Serious Play. He shares his experience in his blog.

Several people have tried and tested the combination. Most tell about achieving powerful results. The Essence of combining the two methods side by side is to assist the participants in the session to focus on elaborating their business ideas.

Business Model Canvas was invented and written about by Alexander Osterwalder, Entrepreneur & Cofounder of Strategyzer. He defines the Business Model Canvas as:

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and an entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.

Marko mentions that with the help of Lego bricks the participants build their understanding of key elements of the business models – typical customers, primary sales channels, resources and partners. They can use the results of their construction to describe their value offering, cost structure and revenue streams. Furthermore the Lego Serious Play can also activate the introverts among the groups who in a normal marker-whiteboard situation would have held back.

Per Kristiansen, Lego Serious Play facilitator and Partner in Trivium has also elaborated the combination of Lego Serious Play and Business Model canvas in a short video. He explains how people can use Lego bricks to build a three dimensional representation of their business model.  He shares his experience of facilitating this game as:

The process entailed getting the team to use Lego bricks to build metaphorical models to capture the meaning, knowledge and insights locked inside their heads and represent the key elements of the Business Model. The team then shared stories they made about the three dimensional Lego objects, bringing to life a three dimensional landscape that represented the business model and environment our Lean Startup is operating in.

The output from the workshop was amazing and powerful, the team could actually see what their colleagues meant as they described the elements of the canvas. The issues we were struggling to identify and understand dramatically revealed themselves during the process and we quickly got alignment on what we needed to prioritize and validate immediately in our Lean Startup. A secondary benefit of the process is that it also gives participants who normally may not say as much in traditional workshops or sessions, share an equal voice and their feeling of inclusion in the output gives them a greater sense of inclusion and buy in to the output of the workshop.

Jan Peeters, Executive Coach collaborated with Olivier Treinen, Multilingual Coach, Change Facilitator and Recruiter at Mannaz A/S, and facilitated a large-scale event where they did a full scale business model workshop with the assistance of Lego Serious Play. In preparing for the event they wrote a helpful set of slides.

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