Chapter 10Play Is about Process
Back in Chapter 3, we briefly discussed our definition for serious play within the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method. This chapter expands upon that definition in two ways: (1) by taking a closer look at the benefit power and purpose of play, and (2) by showing how the serious play characteristics come to life during a LEGO SERIOUS PLAY workshop.
The Benefits of Play
Let's review Johan Huizinga's four-part definition of play from Chapter 3. As you might recall, play:
- Is fully absorbing
- Is intrinsically motivated
- Includes elements of uncertainty or surprise
- Involves a sense of illusion or exaggeration1
Play is about process; work is about results. The purpose of using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method is to produce results (i.e., building a better business) faster. It's helpful to keep in mind that play in general is not a waste of time; it serves a purpose and offers many benefits for the player, such as:
- Biologically. Play positively influences brain development. It's actually a two-way street, in that the brain shapes the play but play also influences the brain. As play activities become more complex, new neural networks are added to handle this complexity. Leading researcher in play Stuart Brown says it elegantly and powerfully: “Play is like a fertilizer for brain growth. It is crazy not to use it.”2
- Socially. Play helps develop the calibration of one's emotional responses to the world's many unexpected and ambiguous events. It helps prepare for unanticipated ...