Unlocking your knowledge means being able to access knowledge that you may not have previously been aware of. Some people may refer to this as connecting the dots or discovering patterns. How can we purposefully unlock our knowledge? Can we rely on a methodology for this?
Unlocking your knowledge
Knowledge emerges from play
One of the most common things to hear from participants in a Lego Serious Play workshop is “I had no idea I knew this”. This phrase often occurs when the participant has already felt anxious about not knowing what to build or where to start. The interesting part to this is that once the participant begins to build they let the idea or knowledge emerge. The method of LSP is designed to help this deeply held knowledge to surface and to some it can feel like alchemy.
Many moments of great insight and inspiration can feel like the idea or the knowledge popped in to your head from somewhere else. Paul McCartney is said to have dreamed the song Yesterday and the Oasis songwriter, Noel Gallagher has said that the “good ones just fall out of the sky” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-cBct4EKRs). The truth of this is that it is always within us that we create ideas and can uncover deep knowledge.
Plato wrote about the idea that knowledge comes from within in the dialogue that Socrates has with Meno. In the dialogue there is a passage where Socrates uncovers deep understanding from a slave or servant boy of Meno. The boy was not previously aware of what emerges but discovers it through the questions Socrates asks.
Soc. What do you say of him, Meno? Were not all these answers given out of his own head?
Men. Yes, they were all his own.
Soc. And yet, as we were just now saying, he did not know?
Soc. But still he had in him those notions of his-had he not?
Soc. Then he who does not know may still have true notions of that which he does not know?
Men. He has.
Soc. And at present these notions have just been stirred up in him, as in a dream; but if he were frequently asked the same questions, in different forms, he would know as well as any one at last?
Men. I dare say.
Soc. Without any one teaching him he will recover his knowledge for himself, if he is only asked questions?
Soc. And this spontaneous recovery of knowledge in him is recollection?
Soc. And this knowledge which he now has must he not either have acquired or always possessed?
Soc. But if he always possessed this knowledge he would always have known; or if he has acquired the knowledge he could not have acquired it in this life, unless he has been taught geometry; for he may be made to do the same with all geometry and every other branch of knowledge. Now, has any one ever taught him all this? You must know about him, if, as you say, he was born and bred in your house.
Men. And I am certain that no one ever did teach him.
Soc. And yet he has the knowledge?
Men. The fact, Socrates, is undeniable.
Through the Socratic Method the boy was able to uncover the knowledge that he was not aware that he knew. Within LSP we do the same by using the bricks but we add the teaching found in Seymour Papert’s Constructionism. Papert is quoted as saying:
What we learn in the process of building things that we care about sinks much deeper into the subsoil of our mind than what anyone can tell us.
This alludes to the power of concrete thinking, thinking by using the hands to create a representation of the knowledge and ideas over purely abstract thought. Thus concrete thinking allows us to find paths to knowledge and ideas that we may not easily find through other means.
This is how LSP can help you unlock your knowledge.