I was chatting with someone about using play in the workplace, describing Lego® Serious Play® methods, and they said, "We don't need something like that, because our curriculum includes a ropes course." That statement is misguided, for two reasons.

  1. People have different styles and preferences regarding play. Ropes courses reflect ONE style of play, physical, and excludes, among others, the storyteller and the artist. It is a solid bet that a number of participants in that ropes course do not find it to be "play."
  2. The essence of play is freedom, and requiring something as part of a curriculum moves it into the "involuntary/not play" column. So even people who DO enjoy physical play and ropes courses may not be enthusiastic about enforced ropes courses. The power differential that's involved in one party being able to require another party to do something explains why so few participants, if any, voice unhappiness.

By contrast, LSP® satisfies a number of different play styles, while protecting personal autonomy and privacy. It's not a panacea for bringing play into the workplace--nothing is--but for those of us who shudder at the very thought of a ropes course, or a trust fall, it offers the prospect of actual play. If we choose to!