Alone but together: flow experience and its impact on creative output in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®

Lukas Zenk, Dirk J. Primus, Stephan Sonnenburg
2021 European Journal of Innovation Management  
Purpose Do LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) workshops result in improved experience of flow components as well as higher levels of creative output than traditional meetings (MEET)? This research studies the extent to which LSP, as a specialized material-mediated and process-oriented cocreative workshop setting, differs from MEET, a traditional workshop setting. Hypotheses for differences in individual flow components (autotelic behavior, happiness, balance), group flow components (equal participation,
more » ... continuous communication) and creative output were developed and tested in a quasi-experimental comparison between LSP and MEET. Design/methodology/approach The study was conducted with 39 practitioners in six teams from various industries. In total, 164 observations were collected during two workshops using the Experience Sampling Method. The creative output was assessed by peer evaluations of all participants, followed by structural analysis and quantitative group comparisons. Findings The results show that two components of individual flow experience (autotelic behavior, happiness) were significantly higher in LSP, and one of the components of group flow experience (continuous communication) was, as expected, significantly lower. Regarding creative output, the LSP teams outperformed the MEET teams. The study suggests that a process-oriented setting that includes time for individuals to independently explore their ideas using a different kind of material in the presence of other participants has a significant influence on the team result. Practical implications LSP can improve the components of participants' flow experience to have an impact on the creative output of teams. In cocreative settings like LSP, teams benefit from a combination of alone time and high-quality collaborative activities using boundary objects and a clear process to share their ideas. Originality/value This is the first quasi-experimental study with management practitioners as participants to compare LSP with a traditional and widespread workshop approach in the context of flow experience and creative output.
doi:10.1108/ejim-09-2020-0362 fatcat:o3dca4vndbexxebtowb7dwjd7i