Category Archive: Innovation

Don’t Think about Innovation. Don’t think about Elephants.


Look at this simple illustration about how things work and don’t think about innovation: Don’t think about process improvement possibilities. Don’t think about issues of engagement and involvement. Don’t think about what might… Continue reading

Think Working Hard is Making Progress?


I was always told that hard work would generate success. But a simple look around the real world will show one how silly that statement is. It is NOT simply about hard work;… Continue reading

Creativity, Courage and Time – Keys to Implementing Improvements


Here is another in the “Courage Series” of Square Wheels LEGO business haiku. This one simply illustrates the need for speed and the requirement that communications is effective for involving and engaging the… Continue reading

A Square Wheels LEGO Haiku on Fear and Change


It is funny how one thought leads into another. After designing the LEGO haiku I posted up a bit ago, another framework came to mind as I was thinking of these same issues… Continue reading

Stupidly Simple Engagement


Everybody has ideas and everybody has perspective. But perspective is relative to where you are and what you do. Often, the wagon-pulling boss simply cannot see the actions and activities of the wagon… Continue reading

LEGO Square Wheels of Continuous Improvement: Hey, Boss!


It has always been my belief that the best ideas for improvement always come from the people who are doing the job and have a hands-on reality of how things work and what… Continue reading

Poster on Making Progress and Innovation in the workplace


Using LEGO and my Square Wheels main cartoon, I offer up this little Dr. Seuss – type poem for your viewing enjoyment. Improvement is about involvement and engagement of the team, and teambuilding… Continue reading

Round Wheels ARE Something Better


The Round Wheels already exist but most people are aware that we tend to use the Square Wheels more than the round ones… Let’s work to make improvement,   For the FUN of… Continue reading

Celebrate Poster – A Square Wheels LEGO poster about getting back to work


How many of us felt something like this just happened as we celebrated Independence Day on July 4 and went back to work on Monday? I, at least, try to address Square Wheels… Continue reading

“Got A Minute?” – Take a Perspective Innovation Break


Dan Rockwell started his post today with, “Got a minute” and how that could turn into a significant time investment for managers, since it could help them focus on what is wrong and… Continue reading

LOOKING for Change, A Change of Perspective


Change is about considered alternatives, since you cannot make changes happen until there is a viable alternative to what you are doing now. Stepping back from the wagon is a way to generate… Continue reading

Story of Courage, Leadership and Teamwork


I packaged up a slideshare program telling the story of Susan, a wagon pusher, and her courage in suggesting that her wagon-pulling boss take a different look at how things are working, with… Continue reading

THE REALITY OF CHANGE – A Square Wheels LEGO Poster


One of the cartoons I have used for many years is what I called The Reality of Change. In it, one of the Square Wheels wagon wheels is broken and the team is… Continue reading

WORKPLACE HAPPINESS: A Square Wheels Poster on Motivation and Improvement


My associates in Japan changed their company name to “Work Happiness” and have been going gangbusters with their overall growth in services. My initial thoughts were it was too fluffy a company name… Continue reading

Devil’s Advocate – a Square Wheels LEGO Poster about decision-making


I am going to post up a much longer article around the issues of decision-making and the requirement that someone be appointed to a role of simply challenging assumptions. But for the moment,… Continue reading

Workplace Alignment – Good and Better: A Business Haiku


We talk alignment a good bit, but it is certainly possible to take teamwork and collaboration and add SO much structure that we squeeze deviation and creativity out of the equation. Here is… Continue reading

Business Haiku – Square Wheels Fine, Faster, Good


Another little haiku on the LEGO images and my theme of implementing round wheels on a Square Wheel wagon. The idea is that continuous improvement and intrinsic motivation come from people making small… Continue reading

Trust. Discontent. A Square Wheels LEGO Business Haiku


Here is another business Haiku around the theme of trust, discontent and motivation that I thought you might like. The ideas for improvement are already in the wagon — the cargo — but… Continue reading

Team Celebration – A LEGO Square Wheels Poster


Behavior changes in accordance with the individual’s tolerance and perceptions about risk as well as the level of support and trust they feel is around them. Celebrating success is a key factor in… Continue reading

TRUST – A Square Wheels LEGO Poster about The Reality


Trust is sure an interesting issue. It is one of the core values of every organization and it plays into every interchange between people. And it is certainly an issue that deserves reflection… Continue reading

Celebration – A LEGO Poster about Rewarding Successes


Celebrating even small steps forward is a key factor in building up the peer pressure for success and continuous continuous improvement. After all, once you DO address the Square Wheels and implement some… Continue reading

Reflection – A Square Wheels LEGO Poster about Improvement


There are tons of articles about time management and personal improvement and managing and leading people and personal growth and improvement. But who has the time? A mention of something in the LinkedIn… Continue reading

PERFORMANCE COACHING – a LEGO poster about results


Thought you might like my spoof on the various performance posters, so here is one that focuses on PERFORMANCE COACHING, with the related idea that it should be about organizational improvement and communications.… Continue reading

Teamwork – a LEGO poster about results


Thought you might like my spoof on the performance posters, so here is one that focuses on TEAMWORK, with the related idea that it should be about organizational improvement and communications and all… Continue reading

Alignment – Excess Control gives Lackluster Innovation


Here is another simple concept about alignment an over-control, illustrated with my little people: We need people breaking outside the boundaries to discover and implement different ideas, some of which will lead to… Continue reading

Alignment – Too Much is Constraining


There are tons of articles on the issues of culture and alignment of values and goals and the issues around performance and innovation. Alignment is good, but like being too detail-oriented, too much… Continue reading

Boss, Can I have a second of your time? A Square Wheels LEGO thought on innovation and motivation


What do you think the reaction will be to this request? Consideration? Engagement? Or are we just too busy doing things the same way we have always done things… Who has the time… Continue reading

Square Wheels: Communications is Key (LEGO version)


Here is a simple thought about People and Performance. I do NOT see the workplace as all that difficult to change I do NOT see the workplace needing all that leadership complexity that… Continue reading

Square Wheels: Coaching for Workplace Improvement (LEGO version)


People and Performance have been the focus of my efforts since 1978, working on behavioral engineering kinds of consulting and then moving toward customer service quality improvement and then teamwork, innovation and leadership.… Continue reading

Don’t Just DO Something. Stand There! (A Square Wheels Lego Business Quote)


I got two other business quotes up in this blog today, both using the Square Wheels LEGO version of my main cartoon so I thought to add one more… This is an oft-used… Continue reading

Going Lean and Mean = Going Gaunt and Dead?


I continue to be amazed at how we continue to make cuts while expecting improvement. Personally, I feel that the supervisors in most organizations are so overloaded with tasks and responsibilities that they… Continue reading

Confidence: A Square Wheels LEGO Business Quote


I saw some Pinterest quotes on a list this morning and I just HAD to do this one: I think that confidence is good, but any strength, taken to its excess, can have… Continue reading

Intrinsic Motivation – Plus BOSS backwards


Motivation – we make the concept so complicated, with detailed theories about positive reinforcement and various schedules of reward delivery (Variable Ratio delivery generates the highest response rate while Differential Reinforcement of Low… Continue reading

Square Wheels: How Things Really work in most organizations (LEGO version)


I’ve been playing with line-art illustrations using Square Wheels since 1993 and have about 300 different cartoons that depict various aspects of how things really work. You can find out about those tools… Continue reading

Chaos, Teamwork and Structure – Issues of Alignment


Let me illustrate my thinking on issues of corporate performance, innovation, teamwork and the basic issue of alignment, since I think that some people get this wrong. Let me take a really simple… Continue reading

Lego People talk for Engagement and Teamwork


My new associate, Hakan Forss, has been designing LEGO┬« scenarios and now a few other people seem to be jumping into the mix. He and I have been talking since he first published… Continue reading

Involve and Engage and Motivate and Improve


Just back from ASTD and meeting with colleagues who use my team building games and other products, my thoughts on involvement and engagement being done by supervisors received lots of support. But the… Continue reading

A Big Idea on Involving and Engaging People for Workplace Improvement


Here is a BIG IDEA that is really pretty simple, really. To involve and engage people in workplace improvement, involve and engage people in workplace improvement. Seriously. Assume that people have actually do… Continue reading

We Appreciate Your Support – Thought on Engagement


I think it is pretty simple, really. To involve and engage people in workplace improvement, one needs to involve and engage people in workplace improvement. That is pretty simple, right? And a bit… Continue reading

Accentuate the Negative – Seriously


“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten…” This is an old quote I remember from my NLP training 20 years ago and… Continue reading

Winter of Despair and a Hope for Spring – Illustrated Haiku by Scott Simmerman


This is not technically a haiku in structure, but I am hoping that it illustrates a good learning point about despair and possibilities that already exist. Note that the round wheels are already… Continue reading

Take Time for a Smoke – a Business Haiku from a non-smoker!


There are issues with pushing the wagon and with pulling the wagon and also issues with smoking. But, I wonder which of these is actually worse for one’s health. Ya think? Don’t Just… Continue reading

Thought on Business: The importance of perspective


I thought to start a short series of Thoughts on Business that employ graphic images and some of my more favorite quotes. The idea is to frame some of the illustrations of Square… Continue reading

Thought on Business: Nothing Made Sense, and Neither did anything else


I thought to start a short series of Thoughts on Business that employ graphic images and some of my more favorite quotes. The idea is to frame some of the illustrations of Square… Continue reading

Me? A Facilitator and a Motivator?


Yep. The process is not a hard one. And it needs to be done to impact engagement and motivation. Click on the image below to go to a simple blog post and some… Continue reading

Thinking about How Things Really Work… Some Square Wheels


In the past couple of days, a number of different threads on LinkedIn and in emails have had me post up some reference to Daniel Kahneman’s great book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Some… Continue reading

Don’t Just DO Something, Stand There! An illustration


A business tip on an idea for helping an organization make improvements in how things really work:   Stop pushing and pulling the wagon and talk about ideas for improvement. And Have FUN… Continue reading

Creativity – How do YOU treat your Spectator Sheep?


Spectator Sheep? Yep. In any organization, you can find them hanging around on the hillside: And thus, the limerick: Ya like that? See some writings on Spectator Sheep and engagement by clicking on… Continue reading

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS HAIKU – SIX OF SIX


Ah, we’ve reached the end of my first series of six business haiku around Daylight Savings and Springing Forward on Monday with ideas for involvement and engagement. Bring even more changes this spring.… Continue reading

Square Wheels are everyday tools for engagement and performance improvement


One of the things that becomes more and more apparent is that the metaphor of “Square Wheels” can be everyday language of performance improvement. Things that are “Square Wheels” are simply the things… Continue reading