Performance Management Blog

Change is Good. You Go First!
A Square Wheels illustration of a boss too busy to listen to ideas for improvement

Years ago, I read the title of this in The Dilbert Principles, and the phrase has stuck with me as a “go to” phrase when talking about change. Change IS Good. But most people resist it for various reasons. So, my thought was to share some of our new Divya Style Square Wheels® images around this theme of managing and leading change to “illustrate” how things really work in most organizations and how individuals generally react to issues around change.

Let me first start with the concept of Training. For most of us, this practice focuses on building strengths, of adding new capabilities to our current package of tools and personal resources. But training is also not always the solution to a performance problem. Bob Mager used a simple test to determine if a performance issue needed a training solution: “If you put a gun to their head, could they do it?”

If they could, they did not need training but some other solution. And there was a simple belief about motivation that also needed to be better explained.

So, here is my belief about training as a general solution to most organizational problems:

I assume that you saw that the Square Wheels® in the first image were more of a reality underlying productivity issues and that the Round Wheels were already in the wagon. Maybe asking Customers about their journey might be helpful, and we might also address the silos that so often exist that prevent collaboration. And there are so many more ways to motivate people, like actively involving them in the implementation of the Round Wheels so as to speed their journey.

But here is how I think that most managers think about motivation:

Okay, with that out of the way, let me move on to some general ideas around change.

Managers are SO busy these days. Meeting after meeting and issue after issue and problem after problem. So, when that employee does have a good idea, one that her team might actually implement, it is hard for those wagon pullers to take the time to pay much attention. That reality looks like this:

Maybe all we need is just more simple awareness. Maybe we need to require LESS of our supervisors insofar as reports and meetings and all that and simply allow them to better interact with their people. Maybe we get them to show an illustration and simply ask for thoughts and ideas. I will guarantee that people will, in fact, generate a list of Square Wheels and a bunch of Round Wheels.

But, naaa. Some people are just caterpillars. They move around mostly looking for food and they often do not generate much awareness about their potential and about visions of the future. Don’t you think that at least some managers might help them better understand the reality and their opportunities?

Maybe all we need is just a little more simple awareness and appreciation. Maybe we need to require LESS of our supervisors insofar as reports and meetings and all that and simply allow them to better interact with their people to build trust and commitment.

Maybe we just get them to show an illustration and simply ask for thoughts and ideas. I will guarantee you that people will, in fact react and then generate a list of Square Wheels and a bunch of good Round Wheel ideas for improvement. Consider using this, from our Spring Forward Monday toolkit ($15!):

Lastly, just realize that people often resist change because they do not really understand how things can become in the future, that change is inevitable and that their vision of the future can be made more attractive. Many people feel like caterpillars wandering around looking for their next meal rather than what they can become if they embrace change and improvement.

Change is often resisted because it is done TO people. It is a different story if they feel a part of the change and if they have a vested interest in improvement.

Let’s implement and roll! It looks like Progress!

Another of my favorite quotes is,

“Nobody ever washes a rental car.”

Giving people active involvement in generating new ideas to improve performance and productivity is a motivating way to better involve and engage them. Do this WITH them, not TO Let’s help them find some Round Wheels to implement to make things better…


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 who is trying to retire!! He now lives in Cuenca, Ecuador.

You can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.

 

Square Wheels® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Company
Spring Forward Monday® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Company
LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group
Square Wheels images are copyrighted by Performance Management Company

 

 

Dr. 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, earning CPT and CPF credentials. -- You can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com and a detailed profile is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottsimmerman/ -- Scott is the original designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game and the Square Wheels® images for organizational development.

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