Ideas on People and Performance, Team Building, Motivation and Innovation

Some Random Thoughts and Quips on Management

Here is one of my new frameworks, something for consideration about how things seem to really work in most organizations:

Square Wheels LEGO one-liner by Scott Simmerman of The Square Wheels Project

And there are a more things I need to do before I call “Quits” for today that I will post up to appear Monday Morning — I am thinking that some of you might need that! And the thought was to also post up a few quips that I came across in a document while looking for something else.

The ones below are not Scott-original, but I will admit to playing with them a bit and that the original sources are unknown. If you find yourself laughing, that is probably a good thing, especially if you do not see this until Monday morning. Anyway, here goes:

One of my most useful quotes:
Nothing made sense, and neither did everything else.
Joseph Heller, from his book “Closing Time,“ (1994)

1callosamiaCaterpillars can fly, if they just lighten up. Thus, be the caterpillar, but watch out for the bird.

Discovery goes through three stages:

  1. Initial ridicule
  2. Violent passionate opposition
  3. Acceptance as the obvious

If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Indecision is a key to flexibility.
A decision made is an opportunity for flexibility missed.
Thus, flexibility is a key to indecision.

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” — Marcel Proust

Leverage:  The 2003 USDA proposed regulations for the concept of “Organic” ran a bit over 600 pages. The 83 page regulatory text summary of the 2000 standard was over 25,000 words and the pdf file of those Year 2000 standards ran 573 pages long. Somebody gets paid to write all this stuff… But many other people then have to read, understand and then comply to it. Why can Big Agra produce foods containing insecticides and other poisons and avoid labeling while organic producers have to PROVE that nothing is in their products.

“In Paris, they simply stared when I spoke to them in French. I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”  – Mark Twain

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty. But you can get everything dirty without getting anything clean.

Thoughts on Flying:  Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee.

Basic Flying Rules:

  1.  Try to stay in the middle of the air.
  2.  Do not go near the edges of it. (The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.)
  3.  Strive to keep the number of successful landings made equal to the number of take-offs you’ve made.

It is not possible to awaken someone who is pretending to be asleep.
(Navajo proverb).

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. And borrow money from pessimists, since they do not expect you to pay it back.

Some managers choose to be rock solid in their commitment to flexibility. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.

“That’s like asking the vegetables how to design a refrigerator.” (An actual quote I heard a company president make when asked about the idea of employee involvement. Really!)

• A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

• The pet ferret (Mustela putorias furo) was domesticated more than 500 years before the house cat.

The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, conceals a billiards room. Billiards were illegal in Virginia when Jefferson lived…

The term “devil’s advocate” comes from the Roman Catholic church. When 20 of the church’s most important convene in deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil’s advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.

Management in some companies reminds me of 5,000 ants on a log floating down the river with each ant pretending they are steering and that they know where they are going.

For the FUN of It!

Dr. Scott SimmermanDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Check out The Square Wheels Project, our LMS for teaching Square Wheels facilitation skills to supervisors and managers.

You can reach Scott at
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Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.

Square Wheels® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Co.
LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group

Also published on Medium.


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1 Comment

  1. And I was just reminded of the TS Eliot quote that has so many organizational realities:

    Between the idea and the reality
    Between the motion and the act
    Falls the Shadow.

    That shadow sure seems to follow a lot of people around in the workplace, ya think? Engagimentation is that act of engaging people and then implementing their ideas. The latter gets a bit political sometimes, as well as requiring Dis-Un-Engagement.

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