Performance Management Blog

What makes a great executive retreat?
What makes a great executive retreat?

Eliza Farri ended a really good article, “What makes a great executive retreat” (HBR – July 4. 2022) with a great conclusion:

“The most important takeaway is that even the most traditional, deeply rooted practices in large organizations can be innovated — especially those that you might think cannot be changed because it’s the way things have always been done. Sometimes great strategy needs a bit of creativity.”

The way things have always been done… And to her quote, I would also end with, “…and the implementation of innovation”

Reading her article confirms my thinking about how things really work in my simple model of the world:

Square Wheels® are a registered trademark of Performance Management Company

I also note that the common reality of most senior managers, the wagon pullers, are just too distracted and busy to really listen to good ideas for doing things differently. I mean, how valuable would a subordinate’s ideas be anyway, right?

Square Wheels - Sometimes managers are too busy to listen to new ideas for improvement

Her point is that if we are going to take the time of the people to share information with them, at least make it a two-way street and allow the people to share their ideas about issues, possibilities and opportunities to really impact the organization and how things work. Innovation is going to come from the fringes and there are a lot more people pushing the wagons than pushing them. And the reality is that they see things differently from the back of the wagon than the wagon pullers at the front. They have more hands-on reality.

How we choose to fix things depends on motivation and perspective

Why not choose to use our simple and effective Square Wheels organizational development tools in your next management or executive retreat or your next onsite event with your remote workers? Why not give them the opportunity to look at things differently and to make some suggestions about real innovations that can be implemented?

It is far better to ask and receive than to tell, and generate resistance and pushback when you are trying to implement change.

Square Wheels are some really easy-to-use, highly impactful, and very memorable tools and metaphors for improving engagement. We’ve been using them for organizational development since 1993.

Square Wheels One images since 1993 including 2022

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

Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.

Here is a 2-minute overview of our new online, virtual team building game:

logo for Lost Dutchman Virtual online edition




Dr. Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of the amazing Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game and the Square Wheels facilitation and engagement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced global presenter. -- You can reach Scott at and a detailed profile is here: -- 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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