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

Tag: engagimentation

Innovation. Continuous Continuous Improvement. People. Engagement.

As I wrote this title, I thought: Keywords.

Innovation. Continuous Continuous Improvement. People. Engagement. Intrinsic Motivation. Team Building. 

And I also thought Connection. How all these things are connected and how they all play a part in the process of organizational improvement and intrinsic motivation. What happened was that I was engaged in a thread on innovation in LinkedIn’s Innovation Excellence group (join it!)

And Square Wheels. Opportunities for innovation are everywhere…

SWs One - How Things Work

There was a discussion on Should Individuals be More Accountable for Innovation? (link to blog is here) that got me thinking. Of course individuals are involved in the thinking around innovation but should they be held accountable for it or should they merely be more engaged and involved IN it? It is an interesting discussion. Yet it also got me thinking about Engagement, or more precisely, my thoughts on Engagimentation – the combination of engaging people and implementing ideas and improvements.

So, here is what I posted to the group:

Innovation. Yep. All People ALL the Time!

I never worked in innovation or creativity with the organizational development work I have been doing for 30+ years. Never called it that. We always focused on things like performance improvement and best practices, customer service, profitability and motivation of the intrinsic kind.  But it was always focused on people and performance.

The “top performers” do things differently than everyone else — basically because they do things differently! But getting more people more involved was always the challenge.

From all this stuff, I evolved an approach that generated involvement and engagement, made it okay to throw mud at the wire fence to see what ideas for improvement might exist, etc. We got groups involved in working together to do things differently.

Now, this is all framed up in “team building games” that one does to generate a sense of camaraderie and collaboration (All of us know more than ANY of us!) and the reality that different eyes see things differently and different hands do things differently. If we can capture those engaged individuals’ energies, we can accomplish a lot more.

Thus, my drift into “innovation” as part of improvement. While some think Quantum Leaps and Big Jumps, I think more continuous continuous improvement (Dept. of Redundancy Dept.) and about trying to involve and engage individuals and teams into looking for ideas and ways to make improvements and do things differently. Ideas seem to come from everywhere and link to everything…

So, now I tend to use cartoons as Rorschach Inkblots and let people see what they see and talk about what they feel is important.

If only we can get more supervisors to be more facilitative in their areas and generate more inter-departmental collaboration. That’s my new focus…

I really see the issues surrounding so many organizational issues to drop right on top of the shoulders of the supervisors. HR cannot do innovation, other than a workshop or two, and managers are too isolated. Sure, P&G can have 8,000 R&D people and roughly 4,000 engineers all working on innovation (from the blog article above) but that is because they ARE about innovation. For most companies, everyone needs to be an innovator, be it for process improvement and productivity purposes or for product improvement. It is the front line employee who is listening to customers and their issues (opportunities for improvement?).

After all, good ideas for improvement can come from anywhere and everywhere and often from unexpected places where people are thinking differently:

Stupid Duh Dumb Guy Improvement green

HOW do we improve the facilitation skills of the supervisors to involve and engage people to be more intrinsically motivated and to help improve all aspects of how the organisations perform?

How can we get there from here? And STAY there in that high performance state?

Brainstorming easel pad green

Answers must include The Supervisors!

Scott Simmerman

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

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News Release: Elves offer Santa a deal on Engagement and Implementation

This just off the presses:

Elves Santa News Release

Yes, the Elves see that process improvements can be accomplished and that Santa needs to stop doing what he is doing and listen to their ideas. A Strike was not discussed, but the Elves could certainly be happier, more engaged and involved, and more productive.

And it is NOT just listening to their ideas that they want — they want results, a concept they are calling Engagimentation.

Santa will, of course, listen, act and support. Christmas is near.

scott santa 2008Dr. 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

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Improve Your Engagement of People: The Square Wheels Facilitation Toolkit!

If you are looking for a simply toolkit to impact people and workplace performance improvement, here is a great solution. Using our Square Wheels illustrations as part of an interactive discussion about issues and opportunities is really straightforward and quite easy, actually.

My little company, Performance Management Company, has been focusing on improving results through team building and employee engagement, involvement and ownership activities for decades. Since 1984, it has been offering its tools and simple approach to companies everywhere and offers a high impact toolkit in an unusually collaborative way.

PMC is supporting collaboration with its customers by offering our easy to use, bombproof and powerful Square Wheels Facilitation Toolkit. It is a flexible and engaging set of simple tools to get people talking about issues and opportunities.

This complete training package sells for $49.95 and contains:

  • A Facilitation Guide with clear and simple instructions for use
  • A PowerPoint file containing 64 slides of images, notes, and ideas – ALL you need to roll forward (more than you need, actually!)
  • Ready-to-use handouts for generating involvement and engaging participants in the concept, including:
    • –a Worksheet for mind mapping ideas generated by the main Square Wheels idea
    • –a Round Wheels Worksheet for identifying opportunities for improvement
    • –a Key Learning Points Summary Handout of Square Wheels themes for implementation
  • The “Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly” article by Scott Simmerman, focusing on managing and leading change for organizations and individuals. This is background as well as an optional handout.

You can see more about the toolkit and its contents in a one-minute video here.

The approach is anchored to the Square Wheels One illustration that is a proven, powerful tool for promoting a participative learning approach, the concept pushes people to “step back from the wagon” and disclose their views about how things are really working, engage each other in a creative discovery process and use the diversity of ideas and perspective to generate thinking, innovation and communications. It’s a great facilitation tool for leadership development skills, employee engagement, team building and motivation.

We can use the Square Wheels theme to set up all kinds of discussions.

RWs Sig File iconWe can also use the themes to get people to discuss possibilities and generate ideas for improvement, discuss ideas for implementation, and improve their active involvement in making changes occur:

Intrinsic Motivation color green

Facilitating Square Wheels is an easy process, something that we discuss in detail in the supporting documents in the toolkit. It is simple for a manager to use the materials to engage the workers on innovating ideas they have for workplace improvement. It changes the language of innovation and change and sets up cognitive dissonance — an unwillingness to allow things to remain as they are.

You engage and thus motivate people to make some of
the changes they feel will improve their performance!

You can see a 2-minute video about why Square Wheels work so well here.

It’s my ardent belief that “Nobody ever washes a rental car” and that people become more engaged and motivated if they feel a sense of ownership in the journey forward. Therefore, it’s my hope that by your setting the price for this Toolkit, you’ll enjoy a keener sense of ownership/motivation for its use as well as discover, first hand, how this simple cartoon can create an empowering situation for participants as it stimulates  communications, ideas and improvements around workplace issues.

Intrinsic feel really good downhill PG

You’ll find the Square Wheels Facilitation Toolkit (an Asian version is also available with some of the illustrations more “Oriental” in appearance) on our website at or go there directly with  this link.

Scott J. Simmerman, Ph.D., is Managing Partner of Performance Management Company and has presented his Square Wheels Illustrations series for Organizational Improvement and Team Building Games in 38 countries.

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 easily reach Scott at

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest:

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