Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly
and other Square Wheels Workshop Quips and Quotes by Dr. Scott Simmerman, managing partner of Performance Management Company and author of the Square Wheels tools for improvement.
What follows are the main quotes and one-liners that I use in my presentations, with many of them linked to specific illustrations or serving as the names of the illustrations in the Square Wheels series. We also started up a new blog of illustrations and quotes and poems and similar that you might find interesting if you find these quotes of interest. We are calling that, “Poems and Quips on Workplace Performance” and want to make that a fun and interesting destination.
Any unattributed quotes in this list would be mine if you choose to requote it –don’t we all have some of these in our mind! And feel free to share some of yours in the comments.
Don’t Just DO Something, Stand There!
Get perspective and reflect rather than just continuing to do the same thing – this is usually linked with Square Wheels One:
Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins, no contest.
W. Edwards Deming
Get out of the ditch and up on the road.
Jon Linder – we link this to our mud illustrations in both SWs and with our Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine teambuilding game
It’s relatively simple. If we’re not getting more, better faster than they are getting more, better faster, than we’re getting less better or more worse.
supposedly by Tom Peters
One wheely good idea can lead to more wheely good ideas.
How long can we go mean and lean before we become gaunt and dead.
It’s all about Continuous Continuous Improvement.
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.
adapted from John Le Carre
We have a few illustrations that link to this concept. But it is basically about not being clear on what is happening or even having a bad idea:
Your brain works faster than you think.
What you see depends on what you thought before you looked.
We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
Max DePree, Leadership is an Art
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
When you go from being a caterpillar to becoming a butterfly, you’re nothing more than a yellow gooey sticky mess.
If caterpillars were meant to fly, God would have given them wings.
anonymous Spectator Sheep
Nothing is ever as dangerous as having THE Answer.*
*That is THE as in DUH!
If things seem really under control, you’re not going fast enough.
A mission statement is defined as “a long awkward sentence that demonstrates management’s inability to think clearly.” All good companies have one.
From The Dilbert Principle, 1996
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly!
Even caterpillars can fly if they would just lighten up.
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
The Eagles, Take it Easy
We could be standing at the top of the world instead of sinking further down in the mud.
Meatloaf, from the song “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go.”
It’s a lot like throwing mud at the wire fence. The key is throwing lots of mud and paying attention to what sticks where. Expect some rain.
The Yankees are only interested in one thing. And I don’t know what that is.
Boss spelled backwards is self-explanatory
(note – This is a US euphemism. Contact an American for further explanation!)
Trust is the residue of promises fulfilled.
This may be a perfect opportunity to use common sense!
Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple stupid behavior.
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
Swedish Proverb*: God gives every bird his worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.
* Apparently not yet recognized in Sweden, based on workshop comments!
“It’s hard to care for customers if you don’t think the Boss cares for you. Boss spelled backwards is also self-explanatory in many cases.”
Hope you found these interesting. For more quips and quotes, view our blog on poems and quips on performance
You or check out the Resources page on our old Square Wheels website. That has tons of articles, jokes and other stuff.
I hope that you find these of benefit and possible use. DO have fun out there and keep people energized and the work more engaging.
For the FUN of It!
Dr. 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. Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at email@example.com
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