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

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

A Square Wheels LEGO Haiku Poem – On Courage and Change


Playing with some comments on Dan Rockwell’s blog with talk of courage and change and I thought to pop up a Haiku on the theme. Change is about choice. Without change, little happens.… Continue reading

REPETITION: LEGO Square Wheels Poster on Doing Things Repeatedly


Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Mr. Miyagi was helping Daniel Caruso in a famous scene in The Karate Kid — repeating the same motions over and over again to develop… 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

Trust and Isolation – Not Building Teams


There are often issues of isolation in how things work in most organizations. Wagon pullers are naturally isolated from the hands-on reality of the wagon pushers, but some are also simply too distant… Continue reading

Trust is the Residue of Promises Fulfilled – A LEGO Poster


Frank Navran used this quote 20+ years ago and I have used it ever since: Trust is the residue of promises fulfilled. I think it is really memorable and reinforces the reality that… 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

COACHING? Who Needs Coaching! We have WORK to do.


I was about to respond to a LinkedIn thread when I realized that I needed a new poster, so here is one on Coaching. Of course, I am tongue in cheek when I… Continue reading

Strategy – Connecting The Vision with The Reality


Disconnects are just so common when it comes to people and performance. And when it comes to implementing strategy, the research says that few initiatives meet the goals and expectations of the senior… 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

ISOLATION – A Square Wheels LEGO Poster on Motivation


The idea for this came up from a comment 15 years ago from one of the senior managers of the Hong Kong Civil Service, where I showed the basic Square Wheels One wagon… 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

Trust – A Business Haiku of Square Wheels and LEGO


Here is another Business Haiku I thought you might like. It’s about the reality of people working together. It is about environmental awareness of managers, not just their focus on productivity and production.… Continue reading

LEGO Business Haiku of Square Wheels Alternative


It’s been a while since I popped up a poem to the poems blog, so here goes a business Haiku I thought you might like. It is about involvement and engagement and perspective… 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

Wicked Angles. TEAM. And a Poem on Performance


In reading a post in a long thread about how to build  teams for organizational growth in a LinkedIn discussion group for HR people, I continue to be struck by the seeming reality… 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