This post is subtitled,

There are just some things you cannot build with LEGO

and it is about celebrating successful change in the paradox of organizational reality.


The past two days have had me posting up around the themes of change and why implementing change and generating new behaviors around leadership or trust are just so difficult. It is easy to talk about behavior change, somewhat easy to design training interventions to generate classroom change, and really really hard to generate real changes in workplace behavior. People make choices and you have only so much influence.

An article about sales and the brain focused on the issue of RISK as the main informational sort that occurs, that if perceived risk of doing something is too high, then the desired behavior just will not occur. Risk is the first sorting pattern, while IMPORTANCE is second.

If the desired new behavior is judged to be risky, it will just not occur.

People, at least most people, tend to avoid situations that they perceive as risky to them personally. While risk can be an adventure, many simply choose not to be all that adventurous in something as important as their worklives.

That thinking got me to remember an old cartoon I did of the theme on the paradox of organizational reality. So, I made up a little poster:

POSTER - Progress Up - not simply one foot ahead

Making real progress is not a simple task. There are corners to turn and steps to climb and wheels to improve on the wagon and it will be a continuous process, for sure. A wrong step will be a disaster and some wrong steps offer no recovery. Trust is implied because the wagon pushers cannot really see where they are headed, only the dangers on the sides.

I think this represents a lot of organizations pretty well and it implies what is required for behavioral training interventions to succeed. People need to see the goals, understand the importance and have a reasonable chance of succeeding and not falling off.

While I was at it, I also generated up this poster:

LEGO SWs Progress UP yellow reality everything

You cannot get into someone’s comprehension of the issues surrounding their behavioral choices, since that thinking and those considerations are pretty personal and internal. You can create a supportive climate and context, knowing that peer support and success can be good motivators of behavioral change. But it is really about their personal choice and considered alternative choices. Training can expand the latter and the environment and culture can influence the former.

A key IS to celebrate that successful change:

LEGO Celebration of Changes Team

People need to put the round wheels on the wagon and feel the positive support of their teammates in order to generate that continuous continuous improvement that today’s workplace requires.

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.

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Square Wheels are a trademark of Performance Management Company
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