What Have We Done Differently? Post-Team Building Followup


We need good tools to generate more behavioral change following our team building efforts. For this, I am starting to build a whole library of illustrations, poems and questions that can be email… Continue reading

Don’t Just DO Something, Stand There: the poem


Don’t Just DO Something. That just gives you the same old thing, day after day. Stop. Step Back. And Stand There! Take a real look at what is happening and what COULD be… Continue reading

THE Award for Common Leadership – The Christopher Columbus Award for Discovery


I have always thought this funny since the idea was first shared with me 30+ years ago: The Christopher Columbus Award. So, I had my artist, Roy Sabean, draw up something, which I… Continue reading

Mission Statement Definition and Value – Thoughts from Dilbert


This was one of those Statements of Truth that I read in “The Dilbert Principles,” a book by Scott Adams. Can you say this anyways better?   All good companies have one. Yep.… Continue reading

Running Around sure is FUN! But getting things done?


Activity is not the same as action, and focused actions are a key way to build teamwork and collaboration, improve communications, and increase intrinsic motivation. Ya think? We need to do more things… Continue reading

Thoughts on Change – “What the Caterpillar calls The End of The World!”


One of the main focus of my work for the past 25 years has been on the general theme of people and performance, often around the concept of managing and leading change. This… Continue reading

Changing Fear to Fun – The Key


Many people have fears. I show that here as the Fear of Change from my Square Wheels illustrations on workplace improvement.   They are afraid of what the Wave of Change will do… Continue reading

Activity is NOT Progress or improvement


Sometimes, we get so focused on rushing and running around that we lose sight of the reality that things can be improved. Here is a little ditty on just that: Racing to the… Continue reading

The Roads We Take – Poem Three on Profitability


This is the third of the ditties on Overpass and the issue of alignment and making progress. Hope you like it:   It IS confusing out there and making the right choices is… Continue reading

The Roads We Take – Poem Two – on Trust


Trust is a big factor in how people and organizations perform. Trust is the residue of promises fulfilled, as Frank Navran said. My “Overpass Image” was done up for me to show how… Continue reading

The Roads We Take – Poem One


  My “Overpass Image” was done up for me to show how things are all interconnected and linked, but that the links could be really confusing. As proof, I simply offer “Atlanta.” Some… Continue reading

Angry People can Sabotage Workplace Improvement


On my blog, I have written about the issues around people “going postal” and about the many different ways that they might sabotage workplace performance. You can find that article here. And I… Continue reading

Reorganizing for Performance Improvement – A Paradox


We often think of making structural changes to improve performance. Sometimes, that works. Sometimes, it just confuses things like working relationships, measurement systems, and the tools to get the job done may now… Continue reading

Thoughts on Training to solve Systems Problems


I’ve always liked our “Muscles” series, since they represent people who have improved their personal strengths through training and development (as opposed to through coaching and development, but what the heck, it IS… Continue reading

Intrinsic Motivation comes from making improvements


Some simple thoughts on what makes people commit to doing things differently. What is intrinsic motivation all about? Why do people implement change when they often have no support from management? Sometimes, simply… Continue reading

Making Progress means Flying Higher


We use the metaphor of Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly for a lot of our work on individual and organizational change. The concept is simple: Getting people to understand that change is inevitable… Continue reading

Thoughts on Mentoring Bob


Mentoring is seeing potential in others and then acting to paint and share a picture of what they could become. So much is about simple perspective. Sometimes it is about choice. Often change… Continue reading

Square Wheels One and “The way we works”


Yeah, sometimes things get rough and tough, and some people have had enough. Sometimes we could choose to do, something that might just be new. Round Wheels roll better than Square Ones, for… Continue reading

I’m Thinking Things are Really Fine – a managers self-review


Here is one reason why some things do not change: our self reflections may be biased and we may not see things as they are. It is that old frame, “We judge ourselves… Continue reading

Moments of Team Reflection can generate a New Direction


I have a series of cartoons that focus on reflecting about how things really are. There are 6 of them, each with the theme that you can possibly see new things if you… Continue reading

Surely, Shirley, Change is Good, right?


I had an interview for a blog this morning. It was on managing change and dealing with resistance, which is a good subject for me since I have played in this arena for… Continue reading

A poem on Leadership and Communications


You would think that the solutions to problems would be obvious. But one also needs perspective. And teamwork.   Involving and engaging people requires their participation in the act of being involved and… Continue reading

A Dr. Seuss Poem anchored to a Square Wheels Cartoon – Getting More Done with Fun


Some thoughts on allowing people to play with ideas, and those ideas will transform themselves into a different reality. But it is really hard to innovate when all you do is pull and… Continue reading

If You Always Do, What you have Always Done – a poem on rotten results!


This little ditty popped into my head while I was thinking  of some conversations with my pal Lucy Freedman of Syntax. We share a background of NLP and similar behavioral approaches to improving… Continue reading

Illustrated Steve Jobs quote on Design, with two images


Steve Jobs — not much needs to be said about his influence on design and quality and making things the right way. Here is a quote about design and how to make improvements.… Continue reading

Illustrated Steve Jobs Quote on Innovation


Steve Jobs — not much needs to be said about his influence on design and quality and making things the right way. Here is a quote about the motivation to make improvements and… Continue reading

Working hard, but making progress?


A lot of people work hard every day. But sometimes we can also find a way to do things differently.   There are often alternative choices. And there are two miles of ditch… Continue reading

Thoughts on Thinking about Workplace Innovation


…or, “A Desk is a Dangerous Place from Which to View The World!” Ideas are good, but not every idea is a good idea. And a desk is one of the places where… Continue reading

People and Organizational Alignment – Working Together


People sharing a common goal can get a lot more accomplished than people who are each working individually. The key is to keep them motivated and feeling like they are accomplishing the goals… Continue reading

Team Building Games for Large Groups – The Goal is to Mine Gold! As much as WE Can!!


The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine has the theme of mining as much Gold as WE can, something that tabletops often ignore in their attempt to win the game for their… Continue reading

Engagement and Teamwork, a Square Wheels Poem


Engagement, innovative design, and teamwork go hand in hand for designing better products and services. Daniel Kahneman’s work on “Thinking Fast and Slow” clearly shows that different patterns of thinking will generate better… Continue reading

People who are attacked by management WILL defend themselves


A simple illustrated concept is show here. Basically, the reality is that people who feel they are being attacked by their management will defend themselves in some way. Often, this involves a personal… Continue reading

People who feel attacked will get institutionalized defenses


If people feel that they are being attacked, they will eventually band together and formalize their defenses. They have lots of ways to accomplish this structural defensiveness. The key is to identify the… Continue reading

Thoughts on Constraints and Improvements in Processes and Flow


We need to recognize where our processes are constrained and look for ways to make improvements in how things flow. This involves planning and collaboration and communications, key issues for leadership.

Continuous Continuous Improvement of Processes and Procedures


I use the words, “Continuous Continuous Improvement” because of the reality that many people will say that they have DONE continuous improvement, which is really a paradox and not possible. How can you… Continue reading

The Paradox of Making Progress Forward as a Team


Thoughts on teamwork and making progress. Two business slogans used in marketing that are combined with the reality of how organizations really work. Do you think that this represents the worker reality?

Square Wheels are Everywhere, with a poem and cartoon to prove it!


If you don’t believe this little ditty, just try showing the Square Wheels One illustration to a group of people and ask them what is happening and how the cartoon might represent how… Continue reading

Teaching The Caterpillar to Fly – Thought to Remember


This is a simple theme that we use in our thoughts about Teaching The Caterpillar to Fly. You can find a 5-part series of posts and illustrations by clicking on the image. You… Continue reading

Big Foot Smush – Part of Godzilla Meets Bambi and a poem on how things really work


Godzilla Meets Bambi is my animated cartoon that address leadership and motivation in organizations as they relate to innovation. You can get a drift for what the short animation covers as collapsed into… Continue reading

Teamwork and Progress – Some thoughts on working together


Ah, the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893, where the soldiers fired the gun and everyone took off to claim the land that they wanted. It was a great way to populate the state… Continue reading

Doing Nothing is NOT Making Progress


It is surprising how many people think that maintaining the status quo is actually maintaining anything. A cartoon on that looks like this: And, when we consider the situation, it looks and sounds… Continue reading

Daniel Kahneman’s View of How People Really Think


Here is my view of the main theme of Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman’s most excellent book on how people think and make decisions. It is a great read. One key point… Continue reading

Plan the Work, and then Work the Plan! Two cartoons


Yep. Most organizations do not seem to get things very aligned. But the reality is that things can actually work out just fine. Remember to celebrate the success!

Sabotage and Worker Disengagement – The Pin Hits the Balloon


It takes a lot of crap for people to finally get mad, but when they do, you can often hear a loud, “POP” as the pin hits the balloon. You can expect no… Continue reading

Mud, Alligators, Sharks and Leadership – Impacts on Motivation


On issues of progress and improvement, as viewed from being up to your axles in mud and dealing with alligators. One from our Lost Dutchman framework of how to improve teamwork and the… Continue reading

What Customers Think about how things really work


Here is The Customer involved in how things are working. From their perspective, all they feel are the impacts of poor systems and policies. But sometimes they can also feel improvements. The solutions… Continue reading

The Knights of the Square Table – some thoughts


Here are some thoughts about performing to capability and motivation:

Scott’s Marketing Image for our Square Wheels toolkits


I thought this a solid and simple way of representing the business improvement opportunity that exists for most managers in most organizations:

Traveling with the Square Wheels Team


I saw some slogans for traveling and thought that they made pretty funny captions for Square Wheels One: Performance Management Company sells easy to use toolkits for generating better involvement, engagement and innovation.

Famous Last Words about how things really work…


I thought these comments were pretty funny, so here they are: