I just posted up some ideas on my poems and quips blog, which tend to be my short little ditties with a simple point and a cartoon or two. You can see that blog here and my post about this theme here. And your likes and subscriptions and comments would always be most appreciated. The whole idea is to try to keep the concepts simple and direct and actionable.

But after posting it up, it occurred to me that I should probably expand on the simple idea and theme a bit more, since it is an important one and I see that a lot of companies and leaders “kinda sorta seem to get it.” But the overall data about involvement and engagement and alignment tend to suggest that we are not really getting this job done very well. Thump. Thump.

(This is a pretty solid post around the issue above)

There are a lot of blogs and slideshows and articles out there about the issues of engagement and implementation. The data on strategy implementation makes it pretty clear that leaders are not doing the job all that well — here is an article about my friend Robin Speculand and his work on that issue in a journal in Singapore.

Simply put, managers are not involving and engaging people in their organizational change efforts. They still seem to believe that telling people about their ideas will be sufficient to generating actions on those ideas, that talk will equate to other people’s walk, something that is not likely at best!

So, I thought to illustrate that issue with a couple of cartoons that I think will be somewhat self-explanatory. Let’s start with this one:

SWs Nobody with Pride cartoon

Yeah, let me restate that key point one more time:

quote Nobody Rental Car

The issue is simple. Are we really doing the things that we could do to generate ownership? Are we really getting our people to not be somewhat active actors but real participants in the overall change we desire?

In my post on the theme of trust and trust building, I used a series of cartoons to illustrate the gap that exists between the view at the front and the view at the back as it relates to overall motivation. The view and perspective at the front is different and leadership tends to be somewhat isolated:

Square wheels image Trust Bubble Front

At the same time, the view from the back of the wagon is not necessarily all that great and there may also be issues caused by isolation:

Square wheels image Trust Bubble Back Navran.

So what we need to deal with are those gaps in how we view things

square wheels illustrations view front back

and find different ways to involve and engage.

  • We simply MUST pay more attention to the issues of involvement and engagement
  • We simply MUST do things to share the vision and align the participants in the journey
  • We simply MUST do things to get their understanding of the issues they face and the opportunities that exist for improvement

Otherwise, how can we expect things to change as we keep doing things the same way?

We cannot become what we want to be


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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