Meet Wendi Dykes McGehee, PhD (USA)
How did you get to know LEGO SERIOUS PLAY?
Early in my professional career, I began working for The LEGO(R) Group in 1998 as a member of the LEGOLAND California (USA) grand opening team. I spent 11 years with the organization primarily in the Training and Organizational Development space. In the early 2000’s there were murmurs around the office of LEGO(R) SERIOUS PLAY(R) (LSP) but I did not actually get certified in the method until 2017. By this time, I had transitioned to higher education and was working as a university professor at Azusa Pacific University in the Los Angeles area. While earning my PhD in Human and Organizational Systems, I decided to work with the best system I know, the LEGO system of play, and study how engagement in the methodology of LSP can help to develop the muscle of creative confidence that exists inside all individuals. Exercising this muscle, allows individuals and teams to generate creative, plausible, and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing their workplace. Since this time, I have continued to use the LSP method in my research and have published on topics such as, ‘Reframing Play in the Adult Vocabulary,” “Constructing Creative Confidence with LEGO(R) Serious Play(R), “ and “Play Produces Serious Results.”
Can share you anything about LSP in your country/state. Is it know to people and/or clients? Is there a community or growing?
From my vantage point, the popularity of LSP is growing exponentially in the United States. Organizations like LinkedIn, VISA, Kaiser Permanente Healthcare, and the US Navy have set out to prove they are “mature enough to play.”
For many Americans, play is often viewed as a frivolous, mindless, and unproductive activity which merely serves the purpose of fun, jovial camaraderie, escape, and/or reAutumn 2023 | 69 laxation. Those who chose to engage in LSP are experiencing play with purpose and discovering how serious play can transform their workplace. Play is being redefined as a tool that includes (a) meaning, (b) intentionality, (c) process, and (d) learning. Seriousness and playfulness do not have to compete.
And what are your plans with LSP for your business/education?
Currently, the School of Business and Management at Azusa Pacific University, has incorporated LEGO SERIOUS PLAY into our classrooms. Using the methodology to teach complex topics like organizational systems theory and change for our graduate students and personal leadership development for our undergraduate students, the LSP method is proving to be an excellent pedagogical tool that offers deep learning and a lasting understanding of theoretical concepts.
We have recently piloted using a model, introduced by Robert Rasmussen, called “thinking in 3D with LEGO SERRIOUS PLAY” to combat the challenges educators are facing with ChatGPT and its ability to write papers and generate test answers through artificial intelligence.
This Fall, our faculty team is conducting a study with First Year students to explore if engagement with LSP can increase vocational identity among this demographic.