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Using 5 Bold Steps Canvas with Lego® Serious Play®

By Björn Petersson  │  March 30, 2023

In my facilitation I work a lot with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. One time, I decided to combine it with the 5 Bold Steps® Canvas and what a powerful tool it became. It not only helps teams to align  fast and define key steps to reach a goal but it also gains all LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® benefits: 100-100 participation, democratic process and capturing the unexpected answers. Since then, I have been using these two methods with many of my clients with great results. 

In this article I will help you to successfully facilitate the 5 Bold Steps Vision® Canvas in combination with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

The session uses LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Core Process: 

  1. Facilitators pose a question
  2. Participants build the answer
  3. Storytelling around the model
  4. The group reflects on the story 

Session Preparation

Setup a room according to the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Core Process that includes a table for individual builds and a sharing table where plates represent the Canvas areas. 

  • Session duration:  Approximately 6 hours, but this depends on complexity and size of a group. 
  • Group size: Recommended for 5 – 10 people
  • Material: LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY kits 
Picture of a sharing table where Lego plates represent the 5 Bold Steps Canvas areas.

Session steps

Follow facilitation steps in the Step-by-step guide to 5 Bold Steps Vision® Canvas in combination with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP)

Build individual LSP model

For each Canvas area (Vision, Themes, Supports, Challenges, 5 Bold Steps, Key Values) ask the group to build individual LSP models.  

Tip: Focus your question on the vision type.

Example: In the Supports area, if the vision is a process, ask the group to “build the resources needed for the process.”  In the Challenges area, if the vision is a goal, ask the group to “build agents that challenge the goal.”  

Picture of an individual LSP model being build by a session participant.

Create shared LSP models

Move individual models to the sharing table and ask participants to create a common shared model for each Canva area. Some Canvas areas are more suited for creating a landscape rather than a shared model.

Picture of a shared LSP model built by participants.

Make connections

Ask participants to add connections between different Canva areas, models and agents that have been created. This will show how things impact each other and create better visual representation of the Canvas. 

This part depends on how much time is available for the workshop. It is not required activity to complete the session and reach the expected outcome. 

Picture of connected Canvas areas.

Three key tips

  • Only use the 5 Bold Steps Canvas in combination with LEGO® SERIOUS  PLAY® if it fits the need. Do not be afraid to adapt it or use another tool.
  • Ensure that the session expectations and what the day will bring is aligned.
  • Keep track of the discussions. Given the amount of time available you may need to cut discussions, and park them for a later time.

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Björn Petersson

Björn is a Quality Assurance Specialist and certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator. Contact Björn or connect with him on LinkedIn.  

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