Mistakes and Innovation – Impact of Learning


Recent talk in a LinkedIn Leadership Group got me thinking about how we deal with mistakes in the workplace. Some managers do it well and some do it badly, generating what the literature… Continue reading

The REALITY of Innovation and Improvement


My belief is that innovation and improvement are incremental processes that generally occur in small, sometimes continuous steps forward. There may be occasional mistakes or failures but teams of people can often implement… Continue reading

The Play is The Thing!


I was in the middle of a response in one of my LinkedIn forums and thought to quickly put this together and up. We sometimes take work so deadly seriously, and we get… Continue reading

Square Wheels Images out of LEGO


My “old” version of the new LEGO illustrations looks like this: and my son pointed out to me that this is NOT all “official LEGO pieces” like the smooth wheel in the middle… Continue reading

HELP! Please compare two different versions of Square Wheels LEGO


My son, whose old LEGO pieces I have been using, suggested that I make the Square Wheels wagon and scenes out of ONLY legitimate LEGO instead of the hybrid assemblies that I have… Continue reading

The Eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend


I saw Henri Bergson’s famous quote in an article on thinking and visioning and thought to illustrate the idea. Originally, he was thinking of this as a metaphor for thinking, but we know… Continue reading

Continuous Continuous Improvement – Reality


In a LinkedIn thread, the issue of organizational improvement was raised and I commented about the reality that continuous improvement was something that many managers strive to achieve, once! Too many people simply… Continue reading

Innovation, Creativity and People


We like to think of ourselves as rational human beings, making good sense of everything that happens in our environment. The reality is that we are creatures bounded by our imagination and self-deceptions,… Continue reading

Nothing Made Sense – A LEGO Square Wheels Image


A similar quote to this turned up when I was reading Closing Time by Joseph Heller, the author of Catch 22. The latter is one of my favorite books of all time, so… Continue reading

Destiny, Teamwork, and Making Sense of Things


I was thinking about teamwork and how it tends to integrate with company culture while I was looking at some old powerpoint slides of quotes. I thought to polish up this one and… Continue reading

Workplace Happiness – The World


My friends in Hong Kong at CSG just sent me some research reports from their membership with the WIN / Gallup International global research network that I thought to pass along. I see… Continue reading

Productivity Problems – Spaghetti and Marshmallows: Seriously


With my continued 40 year focus on issues of people and productivity, I felt it important to share two important developments in the area of food production, since it does affect all of… Continue reading

We LAUGH at Square Wheels. Levitation!


Why not simply laugh at the antics of those people pushing and pulling a wagon on Square Wheels? It is simply so silly! What do you think they do things that way? If… Continue reading

Dr. Seuss might say this about Leadership


I thought this might make a good one-liner on the theme of leading people and improving motivation. Reframe the “care” word to anchor it to the issues of people and performance. Caring is… Continue reading

A Quote on Acting, Dreaming, Planning, and Believing


This quote by Anatole France was shared on Twitter, so I thought to illustrate it with my Square Wheels One LEGO approach to how things really work. Your thoughts? It reminds me of… Continue reading

Making Improvements in how things work


We tend to approach the workplace as a highly complicated interrelationship of hundreds of twisted systems, policies, procedures and programs. Just the thought of “how to motivate people” will make some managers cringe… Continue reading

Communications: What you think you said and what they might have heard


I was wandering around the connected world and came across a most favorite kind of article, one that posted up factoidal information. Gretchen Gavett at HBR shared some interesting charts and data. You… Continue reading

Thinking: Beliefs versus Actual Creativity


Most of us are creative and innovative when it comes to solving problems, we really are. But it would also appear that most of us go through a phase where we lose that… Continue reading

Moron Teambuilding: A Great Video


I popped onto my pal Michael Cardus’ blog and found this animated 2-minute video that is about teambuilding. For me, it hit a lot of the “high” notes about what is wrong with… Continue reading

Motivation for Millenials


New Directions shared some solid stuff on motivation and engagement in an email. I thought I would pop up a really simple post linking their work to my illustration of how things really… Continue reading

Haiku on TeamBuilding and Teamwork and working together


Teams can form up quickly, but a team may be only a team and not part of any larger team, which is why interdepartmental collaboration is an organizational oxymoron. A cartoon haiku for… Continue reading

I’m Thinking Thoughts on Motivation and Improvement


Thinking. A good idea for most managers. Perspective. A good thing for most managers. Engagement. A good process for most employees. Improvement. A good accomplishment for most organizations. Implementation. A difficult task for… Continue reading

Santa, Square Wheels, LEGO and Issues of People and Performance


I got the Santa Creator Set from LEGO and started messing around with my Square Wheels representation of how things really work in most organizations. After all, should Santa’s be expected to operate… Continue reading

Haiku of Business Improvement – Square Wheels


As leaders and motivators of others, we need to continually celebrate success as well as look to the future for contininuous continuous improvement. A feeling of success is a critical factor in the… Continue reading

What Leaders DO – expressed in Square Wheels and LEGO


We often discuss themes of leadership, and there are just so many complicated models and detailed books that go after the explanation of what the best leaders do differently than the average ones… Continue reading

The Boss, Thinking and Missing; A Dr. Seuss style poem


Thought you might like this little glimpse of organizational reality, but here is my LEGO version of how things really work in most organizations along with a Dr. Seuss-style poem of the commonplace… Continue reading

Dr. Seuss-Style Thanksgiving Poem on Thinking and Being Great


Well, when one gets into the grove of messing around with poems, one actually starts messing around with poems. I’ve always liked that Dr. Seuss style of saying things so there is a… Continue reading

A Poem on Thanksgiving Communications and Success


All of us can look back over the year and see successes and we can all look forward to see opportunities to work together and generate new and improved results. Innovation often takes… Continue reading

Business Haiku – Innovation through Conversation


Thought that this was a cute little ditty to spin up: Hope that all things go well. More of these to come. For the FUN of It! Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of… Continue reading

Mechanistic Operations: What’s wrong with THAT picture?


I am re-reading Gareth Morgan’s book on Images of Organizations (1986) and some of his writings on the mechanistic approaches to organizational design got me to think about how things work using my… Continue reading

It’s not the destination, it’s The Journey: A LEGO Square Wheels Poster


One of my friends popped me this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I thought to posterize. So, I took my poster on the theme of ISOLATION and revamped it with the quote.… Continue reading

Teamwork? Why is this called TEAMwork?


Every so often, I am simply struck by what some people call team building. I have written extensively in my other blog about things like go-kart racing, golf, bowling, firewalking and other activities… Continue reading

Motivation, Peer Support and Engagement – A LEGO Poster


My son Jeff had a great idea and simply illustrated it. He was reading one of my earlier blog posts on the workplace and group involvement and gave me the punchline that appears… Continue reading

Greatness and Leadership – Inspiring and Motivating


The basic quote is this one: Good leaders push and drive and move forward, while special ones engage, collaborate and inspire others to greatness.  The idea is that doing hard work by oneself… Continue reading

Progress: The Illusion of it


Someone pinned one of my blog posts that had a few optical illusions embedded in it. You can see that here: So, having the master powerpoint file for my Posters open, I thought… Continue reading

Managing: Ants, Lizards and Wasps


Ah, the animal kingdom offers so many examples of the workplace and behavioral choices. And, using those natural scenes, we can often see individuals in motion, building things and implementing change and dealing… Continue reading

Working and The Living Dead


Will work actually make you a Zombie or is that simply your choice for how you do things? Will you just stumble along unmotivated and uncaring about the world around you or will… Continue reading

Square Wheels LEGO Dr. Seuss Poem on Leadership


This is one of my Dr. Seuss-style poems on organizational leadership and development. Leadership is about knowing that there are many more smart people in your group than you. There are many more… Continue reading

Agile Workplace Practices – A Reality


We hear that “agile” is the new way for a lot of organizations, with the goal of thinking in less constrained ways and in ways to enable better responsiveness on the part of… Continue reading

Innovation: Continuous Continuous Improvement with LEGO and Square Wheels


Someone made a LinkedIn comment about innovation and improvement and I popped in a quip that I thought would be a good poster, so here we go:   Continuous continuous improvement is a… Continue reading

Peter Drucker Quote and a LEGO Square Wheels post on Management


I saw this in my image files and realize I had not popped it into anything so, here we go. It was going to appear in a longer blog on thinking about management… Continue reading

Thinking about Leadership – Simple Considered Alternatives


How we think about things influences how we perceive the world. Our brain works as one big filter and categorizer and puts frameworks around how information is processed. And it is that framework… Continue reading

Quip – On motivating and engaging people


For many years, I have used this quote to remind people that engagement is an active and involving process. You cannot motivate people who are just not engaged. And you should look at… Continue reading

Yes, you CAN be a more engaging leader of teams


You do NOT need to be a professional facilitator of teams in order to generate more intrinsic motivation and engagement. All you need to do is involve people in aligning to the vision… Continue reading

Decision Making with Devil’s Advocate


Challenging decisions and assumptions is a critically important role that is often neglected, given organizational cultures like GM where the “GM Nod” is simply the way of escaping any link to accountability or… Continue reading

Simple Thought on Good Strategic Planning


Lots of data suggest that good strategic planning is different than good strategic planning implementation, and that 90 to 95% of initiatives fail to meet management expectations even though the initial thinking was… Continue reading

Behaving Engaging – a LEGO Square Wheels Poster


A discussion group in LinkedIn had a post today about “GO” being the first thing that someone should do as a new manager. DO SOMETHING seemed to be the main thrust. I wrote… Continue reading

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