Meet Laxman Murugappan (India)
Laxman Murugappen is one of the driving members of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) Community in India and founder of PlayThinkTransform under the Academy of Customer Experience umbrella, which he formed with his father and two sisters who are also certified LSP facilitators.3.
With one playful LEGO brick at a time, Laxman & the PlayThinkTransform team aspires to transform the current work ecosystem of the country into a playful, fun yet serious and meaningful playground. Laxman was certified in the LSP- method in 2016 and he has been a certified game designer since 2017. He is also a certified Customer Experience champion coach, certified Design Thinking Facilitator and primarily uses LEGO SERIOUS PLAY in areas of process innovation, service excellence, technology solutions and enterprise architecture. Prior to this, he had 17 years of experience in the Technology, Software and Digital Consulting sector.
You were one of the first LSP facilitators in India, how did that happen?
In 2015, I was facilitating a Customer Experience Innovation workshop for a Finance and Insurance industry client. I used to integrate play into my work and designed and incorporated a lot of adapted board game elements into the workshop. During the workshop the leader enjoyed the elements of gamification and made a passing comment, whether for the next workshop, I could design something using LEGO.
I started researching the possibility of using LEGO and play tested some ideas to start immersing into this space. I found that things were not sticking with the participants and I could not get a structure around a deep dive engagement. As my research deepened, I got to know more about LSP and found that all sessions in Asia were fully booked for the year 2015. In 2016 I got lucky to find vacancy in Robert’s session in Singapore and enrolled in it.
Tell us a bit about India and LSP? It there interest, is there a group or community of LSP facilitators?
Prior to my certification in 2016, I did not hear a lot about LSP in India. Since 2016, I have made focussed efforts to create awareness of LSP amongst Indian clients and corporates. I committed myself to create inroads within corporate board rooms, start-up ecosystem, the SME associations and also government departments to raise the visibility and awareness of LSP. Now we do have a handful of corporates who have experience the fully fledged LSP experience and I am delighted to see that in the Indian ecosystem, people are more acceptable and curious about LSP.
In 2018, I helped Kris Tay and Masao Ishihara to organize the first LSP facilitator training in Mumbai. This followed by few more facilitator training workshops in India and there are now about 30 to 34 trained LSP facilitators in India across 6 to 8 cities.
What was your last workshop or project with LSP? And what was good about it?
In the December 2019 to January 2020 and just few weeks before COVID hitting India, I was working on project of using LSP for Diversity & Inclusion within India. As part of this project, I had 3 different kinds of workshop in this space:
- A Kaling Fellowship initiative on Global Commitment to Combating Human Trafficking, and Sexual violence against women and which involved participants from 10 key society segments, NGO, Survivors of Trafficking & Sexual violence, Corporate Leaders, Youth, Students from Higher Secondary schools, Police and Judiciary Department representatives.
- Developing a multi sectoral approach on capacity building programme for trainers on “Eliminating Violence against women & Children” by the National Gender Centre, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, working with 4 Indian Civil Services Departments (Police, Judiciary, Medical and Administration) representing around 25 states of India.
- A PlayThinkTransform initiative with a gamified approach for Diversity & Inclusion. This consists of offerings to help nurture Diversity, Equity & Inclusion COE in organisations. The offerings are workshops on unconscious bias around 8 key bias areas and workshops for HR and Leaders of MNC’s on building awareness of Diversity & Inclusion and allyship. The workshops are either based on LSP or a custom designed board game.