Or, “Thoughts on Continuous Continuous Improvement…”

I’ll start this by begging the question. I’ll guess that 100,000+ people have seen this and fully agreed that the following illustration represents how things really work in most organizations:

square wheels image of how things work

For the past 20 years, we have shown the above and asked people to talk about what they see. Uniformly, they identify things that are now working smoothly as well as all sorts of communications and leadership issues. Plus, they see and agree that the round wheels already exist, that there are lots of ways to make pretty simple improvements if the gang would just stop, step back, and then implement those ideas. They are also in agreement that stepping back is a key thing, but hard to do since they are simply expected to keep pushing and pulling.

And they often can and do make improvements. Improvement does tend to be continuous in many organizations. People discover and implement better ways of getting things done. But those same improvements will also need improvement. One does not ever complete a continuous improvement process — it is a continuous process. It is something called Continuous Continuous Improvement by people in the Department of Redundancy Department!

At the same time, we must recognize that the rest of the world is continuing to also improve and innovation and new tools and processes will continually become available, changing the above to something more like this:

square wheels celebration poem


So, the key learning point is that we can never stop improving and never stop looking for ideas and processes that will make things work better, including both our work lives as well as our personal lives. We can also look toward using the horses or taking the trains to make our journeys easier.

And that is not to say that the occasional buggy ride is not any fun. Just don’t continue to do things the same way, especially if you are a wagon puller. After all, the View at the front of the wagon is a LOT different than the view at the back!

square wheels illustrations view front back


Communications, vision and perspectives are all keys to the process of continuous continuous improvement process. (grin)

For the FUN of It!


square wheels author

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 scott@squarewheels.com

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest: pinterest.com/scottsimmerman/
Scott’s blog on Poems and Quips on Workplace Improvement is here.


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