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Play is a voluntary activity, “limited in time and space, structured by rules, conventions or agreements among the players, un-coerced by authority figures, and drawing on elements of fantasy and creative imagination” (Rasmussen Consulting, 2012, p. 1).

In organizations, play can be seen as an intentional gathering of participants who want to use their imagination, agree that they are not directly producing a product or service, and agree to follow a special set of rules.

Adult play is often undertaken with an explicit purpose in mind. Four purposes of adult play have been recognized as relevant for LSP: social bonding, emotional expression, cognitive development, and constructive competition.

Two key components in Serious Play are storytelling and metaphors. “In organizations, stories contribute to the production, reproduction, transformation, and deconstruction of organizational values and beliefs” (Rasmussen Consulting, 2012, p.3). According to Boje (1991), through stories members have the power of challenging their organizations. In this perspective, metaphors are an important means for storytelling, which can generate radically new ways of understanding things, thus playing an active, constructive and creative role in human cognition (Schon, 1971).