Meet Nikos Polidis (Greece)
My journey in using the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method in Greece
The LSP Magazine invited Nikos Polidis to share his experiences, based on 4 questions.
You were one of the first Facilitators in Greece. What made you decide to become a facilitator of LSP?
Since my childhood, I was learning much easier and faster when I was practicing the theory I had been taught in school. I remember myself getting back in my room and experimenting, playing, and observing anything could be practically reproduced from theory to practice. Now it was in the last quarter of 2016 that, as a soft-skills trainer and facilitator, I was searching for a way to make my training workshops even more interactive and engaging. Something that could make the “difference”.
During my research, I somehow found a web page presenting the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) methodology. The words I shouted out that moment was “That’s it!”. Immediately I decided to get certified. I was so sure about the ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s quotation “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” because it reminded me of my childhood. I made the arrangements needed in order to travel to Leipzig in Germany in February 2017 and get certified by Michel Cloosterman. Since then, I have facilitated around 10 LSP workshops which proved them infinite power of ‘hands-on/minds-on’ and ‘serious play’ nlearning and development.
Can you share some of your experiences of LSP in Greece, is there for instance a community?
I have to admit the Greek market and Greek companies are not yet completely ready for the power of ‘serious play’. They filter the suggestion of a workshop using LSP, with some scepticism. They often wonder and ask, “Is it going to work?”, “Are the participants mature enough to follow the methodology?”
There are only a few LSP facilitators in Greece and the LSP methodology has not yet been popular. This is both a positive and a negative at the same time. Positive because we have a lot of opportunities to penetrate the market, but negative because it demands a lot of effort and resources. Unfortunately, there is no Greek LSP community that could present and promote the methodology and, more generally, the power of ‘serious play’ in a business environment. Usually, what we do as LSP facilitators, is to suggest an LSP workshop along with other solutions and the client chooses the one they feel suits their need.
What was your last workshop or project with LSP? How did your customer benefit from it?
It has been a long time since I facilitated a LSP workshop. The Covid pandemic hit us as well, and companies were asking for virtual trainings and team building events. Although I have attended several virtual LSP workshops, I believe that virtual workshops are not able to substitute the power of a face-to-face one. For this reason, the last workshop I facilitated was at the end of 2019 when a company asked our help to increase the bonding of team members. It was a challenging project because the team consisted of eight people of different ages, work experience and time in the team. I prepared a full day workshop roadmap which included skills building, AT1, AT2 and AT4. The participants were very happy and enthusiastic during the workshop and the feedback I got was really very positive. One of the testimonials we got mentioned: “After the workshop we had, I felt like knowing my team mates a whole life. The power of these small bricks is unbelievable… Great job!”
What is your aspiration for LEGO SERIOUS PLAY?
For sure, the LSP methodology is very powerful and very promising. It can be used for several cases and fulfils many business needs. I aspire to use LSP in all kinds of workshop (not only team building) and create the opportunity towards a lot of companies to exploit its ‘power’.
The pandemic minimised the opportunity to have face to face workshops, but I’m very optimistic that as soon as we turn back to ‘normality’ we will be able to deliver LSP workshops (at least hybrid ones) and regain the full power of the methodology.
What might be helpful for us, is more examples, or a database, of LSP workshop roadmaps from colleague facilitators. That would be of great help to all of us, around the world, to have great source of ideas…!