January 2004, Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Robert and I are a bit in limbo – to put it mildly. The Holidays have been cruel and sad and frustrating. After Robert´s 16 year relationship with the LEGO company has ended we now find ourselves living in America (moved here 9 years earlier – because of LEGO!) – our son is in college here – we own a house here. After my exit from Executive Discovery I have established a tiny company and I have an office in Enfield, Connecticut. I import Italian skincare and soap products. I am not making any money but I am having fun after my awful time with Executive Discovery. I am now a total “I hate LEGO person” and to survive my anger I make a lot of fun regarding this. Many of our friends here in The States – are Danes – also working for the LEGO company. We celebrated New Years eve together with a group of them and I proclaimed: I simply HATE this company – I will never say the name again and should I ever have grandchildren – they are simply NOT allowed to play with this “thing”. We all laughed – but for me (and for Robert) the situation is serious.
I am so bitter. I am so angry. Robert is sad. Sad and frustrated. Sad and disappointed. Sad and confused. He is also sad that he does not hear from Bart Victor who simply has vanished as LEGO closes ED. Robert is sad and creative. And one of the first days in the new year of 2004 he then totally gives me a chock: “Jette – I want go to work with you. I can sit at the other desk at your office and then I will start my own business as well. – Because I want to continue working with the LSP methodology – this methodology is simply too good to die now. It has a future. I can feel it.
I laugh and say, you can not work in MY office if it is with “this thing”. But of course he can. And he and I are now sitting at our desks on Moody Road in Enfield, Connecticut – on the phones. I am trying to sell the skincare products. Robert working on getting out there – doing demo LSP workshops – to further promote and develop.
MEANWHILE – the “rest of what used to be Executive Discovery LLC” is living quite a confusing and unproductive life in the hands of the LEGO company in Denmark and a number of different clever (?) persons who are trying their best to take control of the future of the methodology. Since the fall of 2003 (where the decision had been made to close Executive Discovery) different people have been eagerly working behind Robert´s back – on how to take over the “left-overs”. One of them the vampire – ehm … grumble – grumble … excuse me : JR ! From his base in Switzerland (Imagination Lab) he (smelling money again?) – and other persons were working together with the then COO of LEGO – Poul Plougman. BUT different winds were blowing constantly in the LEGO company at this time and when Mr. Plougman exited the company abruptly his successor cancelled all these plans and TOTALLY cut the ties to the vampire (JR) for good. – The money box is closed – stay away !!!
Now all IP rights were 100% in the LEGO company´s ownership. And LSP was now a tiny entity in LEGO. For a short while lead by Per and then for a couple of years by Jesper Just Jensen. Robert – who worked on his own in The States now started to work with JJJ. Robert did a couple of facilitator trainings in The States for JJJ. Around this time (2006/2007) Robert developed the version of the methodology that we know today based on a 4-step core process and 7 application techniques. This modular system enabled the facilitator to design customized workshops and workshops of a duration from 2 hours to 2 days. He first described this system in what was called “The 1-day facilitator training manual”.
End of 2007 the LEGO company decided to make a serious effort to turn LSP into a commercial business model. As part of that effort Robert was asked to officially join the LEGO company again. He agreed – but part time only – because he did not want to give up his own LSP business and we did not want to be depending on the LEGO company once again.
2008 : In January Robert and I moved back to our native Denmark. We established RASMUSSEN CONSULTING. – In February Robert started his part-time job with the LEGO company. I started in my new Danish job – leading a project to help people on sick leave (stress, anxiety and depression).
2010: By this time the LEGO company had realized this was not the way for the growth of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. Robert had already one year earlier given in his resignation to maintain his sanity, integrity and stay true to the LSP values. During the previous years from 2005 – 2010 the facilitator training sessions had primarily been delivered by either Per or Robert.
By the end of 2010 LEGO had implemented the distribution model of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY that we know today.
So – still …. end of 2010 – the JR person is nowhere to be found in the LSP community! (The “vampire” is still in the box !!!! (:-)
To be continued ….