This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

S-PLAY

The history of LSP starts in the mid-1990s, when the LEGO Company was facing the great challenge of new toys entering the market, such as videogames. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, owner and CEO of the LEGO Company at that time, was dissatisfied with the results of the strategy-development sessions with his staff: the business of LEGO was about imagination, but the results of these sessions were all but imaginative (Rasmussen, 2006; Kristiansen, Hansen & Nielsen, 2009).

Around the same time, Johann Roos and Bart Victor, two professors at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne (Switzerland), were investigating new techniques for strategy development: “when Kristiansen, Roos, and Victor connected, they noted their similar dilemmas, as well as the values they shared – which saw people as the key to company success, and strategy as something you live rather than something stored away in a document” (Rasmussen, 2006, p. 57).

LEGO decided to fund research on this problem, and created a separate subsidiary: Executive Discovery. In 1999, Robert Rasmussen, who was director of research and development for the educational division of LEGO company, joined Executive Discovery, moving the work of the team into the development phase: “over the course of several years and after more than 20 iterations, our team made LEGO Serious Play the reproducible and robust methodology it is today” (Rasmussen, 2006, p. 57).

Executive Discovery brought the methodology to market, and in 2002, the LSP process was officially launched. In the following years many companies, nonprofit / NGO groups, and governmental bodies used it as a consulting method.

In 2004, LEGO decided to merge Executive Discovery into LEGO. In 2010, LEGO launched a community-based business model for LSP.