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A Lego® Serious Play® laboratory has been established at the Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of Riga Technical University (RTU), offering students and academic staff creative ways of finding effective solutions to various challenges. The globally recognized method will also be used to diversify the study process at the Institute of Business Engineering and Management.

The Lego® Serious Play® method is a thinking, communication and problem-solving technique designed to facilitate and promote activities of organizations, teams and individuals, says Deniss Ščeulovs, Director of the Institute of Business Engineering and Management, at the Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management, RTU, certified Lego® Serious Play ® facilitator. The method allows you to find solutions to both present and future problems, and to model retrospectively to better understand and correct past mistakes.

The method is based on extensive research in business, organization, development, psychology and pedagogy, as well as on the concept of “hand knowledge”. Namely, through seemingly simple playing with Lego bricks, building various models, under the guidance of a knowledgeable facilitator, it is possible to be aware of your ideas, discover them, unleash your imagination, feel free to communicate, come to answers and solutions individually and by interaction with others, respectfully reflect on negative information. The method helps to actively involve all participants in the search for solutions and in decision-making, which is often not possible in meetings, where the opinion of leaders mostly dominates but others are not heard at all due to disinterest or introvert nature. By involving everyone, it is possible to come to unexpected and innovative solutions, at the same time appreciating the contribution and co-responsibility of each individual, thus also changing the culture of the organization.

The Lego® Serious Play® method can be used very widely, such as team development, stakeholder engagement, product and service innovation, project management, branding, business start-up, coaching, leadership development, organizational and communication strategies, conflict management, change leadership, group decision making, creative problem solving, business modelling, etc.

D. Ščeulovs is convinced that the method has a wide application also in the academic environment. Under his guidance, the lecturers of the joint study program «Creative Industries» of RTU and the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) have already tried it, discussing the best bachelor’s thesis model. This summer, the first graduation of the interdisciplinary study program took place. The program prepares entrepreneurs in creative industries by offering knowledge in culture and art provided by the LAC, and an understanding of business processes and regularities as well as the latest technologies that are within the competence of RTU. The program pays special attention to the specifics of creative entrepreneurship and start-ups, promotes the understanding of creative processes, so graduates are able to see the potential of entrepreneurship in the cultural and creative sector and can become creators of innovations themselves. Cooperation between RTU and LAC will continue, because the master’s program “Creative Industries and Growth Management” has been submitted for licensing; this program is intended for managers of creative industry organizations who already have work experience and who want to enhance their knowledge. The content to be acquired in the program will be positioned on three levels – personal, corporate and global, and each student will be able to adapt the study content to their individual needs.

D. Ščeulovs plans to use the Lego® Serious Play® method also in the diversification of the study process at the Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of RTU.

Lego bricks are also used in the education and business support programs of the RTU Design Factory. For example, the participants of the professional mobility program Pioneers into Practice of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (EIT Climate-KIC) have used them to better generate ideas, share their experiences and visions on a range of issues, improve teamwork, etc.

RTU is the only multidisciplinary technology university in Latvia. Its nine faculties offer comprehensive education in high technology and engineering, as well as social sciences and humanities. The Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of RTU provides higher education in various fields of economics and business, preparing internationally recognized specialists and entrepreneurs.

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