Meet Daniela Piryova (Bulgaria)
Daniela Piryova is one of the most actively engaged LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitators in Bulgaria and has used the LSP method extensively in the last five years. We invited her to share her experience with the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method.
You were one of the early adopters of LSP in Bulgaria, how did that happen?
My professional experience is people-focused, and I have worked for more than 25 years in various people-related senior managerial and consulting roles with local and international companies, in a dozen countries in Central and Eastern Europe and South East Europe.
I established my consultancy in 2007 and since then have supported companies and teams in organisational design and efficiency, human capital management, and talent development with an interdisciplinary approach, including behavioural and cognitive assessments, and individual and team coaching.
My work with teams stimulated me to look for additional tools I can use to make training and team coaching sessions more engaging and provoke the creativity of participants. I was considering various visualisation and art techniques and practices when I saw an advertisement in the Bulgarian People Management Association Newsletter about a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator Certification course to be held in Sofia in April 2018 and it clicked immediately! I did not think twice and enrolled for the course because I was convinced this was exactly the method I was looking for. The LEGO bricks have an emotional significance for me since my son used to play for days with LEGO when he was a child. He would not eat or drink while he was fully immersed with the bricks and was in a state of deep flow.
In 2019 I went to Bergamo for a certification training in Design Thinking with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, which was organised by Michel Cloosterman and Arjan Visser. It offered me a deeper understanding of Design Thinking as a process, a methodology and a philosophy. The combined methods of LSP and Design Thinking provide the scientific basis and the tools for deep exploration, innovation insights and sustainable results in resolving challenging issues faced by organizations and teams, supported by a team coaching approach. I can strongly recommend this training to my fellow LSP facilitators, especially those focused on supporting leadership teams.
Becoming an LSP facilitator was one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences for me, both personally and professionally, and I am deeply grateful to my trainer Michel Cloosterman and to the global LSP community for their support, shared knowledge, and best practices.
I have also established a dedicated web page in Bulgarian – www.seriousplayinbusiness.com – with the aim of promoting the LSP method locally.
Can you share some of your experiences with LSP?
I can say that preparation is crucial for a successful LSP workshop. Not only from the point of view of design and materials, but also reaching an agreement with the client on what is the topic and the main question on which the workshop will be focused, what are the management’s expectations in terms of results – depending on the duration and complexity of the topic – and how the results of the workshop will be presented.
As a consultant, I work mainly with small to medium business teams and have used the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method for topics which are essential for each team, like: building a high-performing and collaborative team; understanding what drives and what hinders team efficiency and how it can be improved in the team; breaking silos in cross-functional teams and enhancing team collaboration and communication; exploring the factors influencing employee experience and creating a vision for excellent employee experience in the organisation; understanding team culture and improving team collaboration; overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, based on Patrick Lencioni’s model in combination with the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method; a shared vision of the ideal team; aligning team values, behaviours and vision; management workshop for defining the leadership standards in the company; setting team and individual goals; management team collaboration, and similar topics.
I have also used the LSP method in individual leadership coaching and no surprise it has always turned out to be very insightful for the person. It allows them to change their perspective and to see themselves and the environment in 3D. The LSP method is highly efficient in exploring and defining the current situation and the desired state and especially at the end of the coaching program for anchoring the vision of success.
What was your last workshop or project with LSP? What was the magic about it?
One of the most rewarding LSP workshops which I had lately was with the management team of an IT development company. The main challenges for the team were that some of the Team Leads had worked in the company for many years, while there were newly promoted Team Leads, who had worked in the company as IT Developers and been given team responsibilities for managing their peers without prior management experience. An additional challenge for the team was that they were working from two offices in different cities and did not know each other very well, nor had the possibility to spend enough time together.
It was discussed and agreed with the company’s management that the goal of the LSP workshop would be to provide a safe space for the participants to get to know each other better, to build trust and to align their understanding of the Team Lead’s role in the company. The culmination of the workshop was a shared model of the team’s vision for their future.
I am feeling grateful and inspired every time I get the opportunity to work with talented, committed, and open-minded people to whom I can bring value! Through challenging questions and authentic sharing of their experiences, this amazing team has come to a deeper understanding of their role as Team Leads, as well as who is everyone on the team and how they would like to work together more closely and more effectively.
What are you hoping for when it comes to LSP in 2023?
I am deeply convinced of the advantages which the LSP method offers to teams and to individuals who are ambitious to learn, develop and excel at what they do.
Although it is difficult to make plans in the unpredictable socio- economic environment of the last couple of years, I feel optimistic and hope to be able to better manage my involvement with various projects to focus more and explore new applications of LSP in combination with team coaching.
When times are tough for the business and for the people they need even more support, encouragement, resilience, and inspiration and the LSP method has proven that it works every time and facilitates achieving results faster, unlocking the collective potential of the team and engaging all participants through play and creativity!