What Dave Zeilinski wrote in th4e August 1999 Issue of Presentations Magazine (click here)
Here are 30+ testimonials from a wide variety of users, most with their email contacts:
I used your Square Wheels transparency with two very different groups on two different occasions. The first was a Board of Directors and it brought several issues to light and also gave me tremendous insight into the diversity of the people I working with on teambuilding issues.
I used it again with a group of family caregivers. I don't think this has been mentioned as a possible use but it worked beautifully! It happened to be a church group and I used the story of the four men who took their paralytic friend to see Jesus. They definitely had to work as a team and get rid of some Square Wheels to get to the point of lowering their friend from the ceiling to be healed by Christ.
I am sure if it were to happen today there would be some spectator sheep going "oh man, I bet his HMO isn't going to like that" or "I hope this is covered by their homeowners policy!" and in my mind I can envision some muck and mud that would be associated too! But anyway, the caregivers really came up with terrific ideas about how the picture related to them.
My hat is off to you and your Square Wheels! You are a very gifted man. Thank you so much for allowing me to receive your newsletter.
Celeste J. Campbell
So far I've used the illustration twice to explore the motivation and team work for my employees...
Feedback from trainees regarding the square wheel topics is:
- They assume this is what really happens in the company (in the opening I explained that this is a general view in all industry/company and not just ours).
- They look so excited and I've found a few "a-ha" insight expressions. I assume that they've found the basic message that they already have their resource (round wheels) in themselves but they didn't realize it before...
More than a month after training, I still see changes in their daily teamwork such as being helpful to each others and trying to clarify unclear information they received... Thank you for your permission to use the illustration, it's so helpful and easy to understand by trainee and trainers too... BTW, we are a Manufacturing company focused on steel furniture (especially chairs) with a license from Chitose - Japan to use their trademark and their technology.....
Yushi T. Ismayudha
PT. Chitose Indonesia Mfg.
It is amazing what you have developed around the same theme! So simple and yet so enriching! It was possible to unload the image and yes - I am using it where possible.
I am not as groomed as you are in the field (although I am working on it) and therefore appreciate your information as well as your follow-up! I am looking forward to new developments.
PS. I have distributed your contact information to other practitioners as well - as you say - For the Fun of it! I believe that they will make contact as well.
Danie Wijnbeek <email@example.com> (South Africa)
I have heard Scott present Square Wheels to several different audiences. His ability to assess the needs of his audience, make it personally relevant and applicable at work and personally is phenomenal!
Those of us who are professional consultants and presenters have take some lessons from Scott's ability to combine conceptual power with humor to produce learning experiences that listeners can instantly apply to their own situations to improve their own and their team's success rates.
Terry D. Anderson, Ph.D.
Scott's presentation on "Square Wheels" gave me a tremendous stash of practical, useful, and FUN resources for training managers and supervisors at all levels in my organization. His style is captivating and his insights, timely. In an age where corporate cultures are suffering from acute learning disabilities, it was great to take back from Scott's presentation the breath of life so desperately needed to provoke new thought and elicit change. A wonderful session!
Diane Mashia - then at Paychex, Inc.
Scott holds everyone's attention. He is a dynamic speakers who involves the audience and is fun! I am in charge of developing, scheduling, and providing side-wide quarterly professional development conferences (Mississippi Industrial Training Program Professional Development Conferences)for Mississippi's 16 community college districts' industrial services coordinators and assistants. This is a tough group to satisfy. They want to be entertained as well as to learn.
Scott did an excellent job when he spoke at one of these conferences. He was so well received and liked by this group that he was asked to be a speaker at the State's prestigious Excellent in Mississippi Awards Program to be held at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi next month. Mississippi is sold on Scott Simmerman.
John B. Martin, Ed.D. - Workforce Development Coordinator
Scott has spoken to our organization, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), several times and has been well received each time. His presentations can fit into several of your speaker types: Keynote, After Dinner, Motivational, and Futurist.
He supported our organization's goal of addressing utilizing internal and external consultants to bring about change. He encouraged the audience's participation and showed us how to begin to thinking in the future about organization change and the impact we as training professionals need to approach those in our organization to bring about change. He shared with us the different perspectives individuals may bring to the organization (including resistance) and how we as change agents may be able to deal with those individuals and gain their support.
Scott's flexible style and the "tools" he shared with us and encouraged us to adapt to our own organization environments were an added plus. If I can provide you with additional information about Scott such as the evaluation results, etc. Please feel free to contact me at: (404) 321-8275 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherry Jackson, Co-chairperson Program Committee, Greater Atlanta-ASTD
I used the Square Wheels transparency and information that you sent me for a meeting with our union executive committee and management team when we met to address some tough situations. Our company was recently bought by another company that requires much lower fixed costs and a much more aggressive return on sales plan.
The exercise was quite helpful in setting the tone of the meeting and opened all our eyes to the fact that we really were not that far apart in how we view issues.
The meeting went well and had excellent results, including the union agreeing to help with a plan to reduce jobs in the plant. Keep up the good work and thanks for staying in touch.
Here is further follow up regarding the use of your overhead.
I was able to use your illustration with some grade 10 students I was discussing Creativity with. I presented the illustration as the focal point of an exercise on how to use multiple thought processes or focusing thoughts (i.e. Edward DeBono's 6 Thinking Hats, Dr. Howard's 7 Intelligences) to discuss and issue. It was very amusing and enlightening at the same time. As I have time I will prepare some of the "gems" for you and pass them along in a cohesive format for you own enjoyment.
Currently I am working predominantly with non-profit youth groups on my own time, so I am not able to purchase your Gold Mine product, although I am sure from the thoroughness of your package that it is a wonderful tool.
I appreciate your ability to share your overhead with me, and your extensive cerebral discussions on the teamnet list.
Continue the Fun ...
Bert Annear, Admission Services
University of Victoria web: http://web.uvic.ca/adms
"Square Wheels rolled at The Signature Group this afternoon. It was a smashing success. I am using it as a way to introduce some change management concepts and strategies."
Alanna Clutter, email@example.com on December 9, 1998
I attended a workshop with you on the ASTD conference in 1996, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Actually - I thought it was the best of all the workshops I attended! I tried to get the book then (I think it was the same book), but when I was ready for it - it was sold out. I've been looking for it in shops in Norway ever since, but have never been able to find it. I'm going to San Francisco for the ASTD conference in a couple of weeks, and decided that I'd try to find the book then, but from the list of exhibitors I can't see you.
I was therefore delighted when I stumbled across your website, and I'm really looking forward to receiving the book. I'm competence area leader for learning and development in our company and I've used some of the drawings in your handout in dialogues with management to help them see the need for learning and empowerment, and also how their role must change. It saves a lot of "selling"!!!
Got (the illustration) Monday - absolutely brilliant. I did a new staff induction on Monday and ended up with fifteen minutes to kill whilst waiting for the service manager to introduce herself so I got out the overhead of Square Wheels. No preparation - very little introduction - very little explanation. I put it on the projector and simply said - what do you see happening here.
I was amazed by the amount of discussion it actually generated and was sorry that we had to cut it short. Ten out of ten.
I received your package a couple of days ago! Picked it up from the mailbox on my way to an appointment...good thing my husband was driving...I couldn't put it down! You are a genius...thinking up all these GREAT ideas!
I loved what you sent! At this point I haven't had a chance to share it with my coworkers, but I promise you I will very soon...thanks so much!
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation to your for introducing (us) to "Square Wheels." This easy to understand program has paved the way for my associates to share their ideas for continuous improvement and quality. "Square Wheels" has also helped my company to begin to take down the barriers to effective communication, not to mention it is FUN.
I have also had the opportunity to use "Square Wheels" with our customers as a way of developing a continuous improvement process as part of our partnership. On several occasions, I used this program as a sales tool at the beginning of our proposal presentation.
We were able to generate valuable feedback to problems that our potential customer was having with our competition, the concept of "Square Wheels" was instrumental in gaining new business.
The return on investment has been greater than I ever imagined and you created a "Raving Fan" with (us).
Again, thank you and good luck.
CEO of a Building Services Company
Square Wheels provides the trainer with the opportunity to modify, adjust, adapt and then adopt the concepts for their own training needs. I recommend it.
Bob Pike, CSP and Author, The Creative Training Techniques Handbook.
Deming says organizations need to allow for the intrinsic motivation resulting from positive management support for change in a learning environment. Old systems of extrinsic rewards and punishers do not work and will not be effective. He takes the position that quality will not improve without "profound knowledge" which is built on an understanding of how organizations, systems and people work.
To help achieve this "profound knowledge," organizations will need to have flexible and powerful training tools that are simple to deliver, easy to understand, and straightforward in their applications to organizational development needs. We believe that this exercise offers these benefits and high value.
So far so good -- Now, how do we do it?
Organizations need high-impact tools to improve quality, teamwork and leadership. Experiential exercises have proven to be of great benefit when directly linked to business issues. Feedback from users has been extraordinary: impacts are long-term and participants have fun.
Simulations (games and exercises) serve as a memorable and powerful experience for learning and development. The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine generates behaviors that people link to a variety of organizational improvement opportunities, sets up possibilities and metaphors for change.
Square Wheels and Dutchman generate an extraordinary level of energy, one that many people link to a positive job experience in their personal history. It demonstrates, on a personal level, the criticality of a shared mission, a focus on the task to be accomplished and the need for specific goals and measured results -- concepts that match the essential elements of a learning organization.
Gordon Housworth, Intellectual Capital Group - firstname.lastname@example.org
In our 4-year journey with Total Quality, I have not found a training product as unique, easy-to-use and simple yet powerful in its delivery of many of the lessons in continuous improvement as Square Wheels.
Jay Wenberg, Training Manager, then at Lorillard
I have been a great fan of yours. Your approach is one of the greatest breakthroughs in training that I have seen for such a long time. Wonderful elegance, interactivity, and sharing. Your approach is totally compatible with my desired approach to training.
Thiagi (email@example.com) - www.thiagi.com
Using the cartoons, I was able to express what tends to be a very emotional message in such a way that everyone understood and became willing to participate in a problem-solving discussion. By the end of the session, the entire group was communicating and moving in the same direction with common goals.
Loren Stauffer, then at Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
I've enthusiastically recommended Square Wheels to several of my colleagues and will continue to do so!
Randy Ransleben, Ransleben Consulting
I can tell you in a word, it was a HIT!
Margo Patrick, T & D Manager, W.H. Smith Group
I found it very effective, people always want to join in - we now use the terms "Square Wheels" and "Round Wheels" when communicating (probably sounds a bit strange to those not yet in the know).
Duncan McMurdo - Hong Kong
* - Jill Dodwell-Groves, Manager of Training for Jardines Pacific in Hong Kong
NOBODY asks the expidition leader for help or advice. Not only that, when I asked why no one asked me for help, assistance or advice, one woman said, "Well, we didn't trust you!"
Scott, thanks for a GREAT training vehicle in the Lost Dutchmen.
I finished up a college course at a local university by having the "teams" play the Dutchmen. All the students are working adults in an evening degree completion program. The business course covered Working Teams and Relationships. The Dutchman was the "capstone" exercise near the end of the course. They loved it....the "blew" it...they had some profound learning in the debrief. Nearly all of them plan to write their final exam (take home) on the lessons they learned in the mountains.
We did the exercise on a Monday evening and the debrief on Wednesday. I was surprised at how well they held onto the experience during the two day break.
Thanks again...I am a Dutchman fan.
Bob Strange, San Antonio Water System
Scott excels in a number of areas. For example, he possesses excellent platform skills and is one of the best instructors I have observed. He engages his audience and stimulates their thinking and understanding with provocative exercises and activities.
Scott is a also a noted author of what I consider to be among the best simulations/exercises available in the training field today - "The Search For the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine" and the "Big Book of Square Wheels". I use both in the Leadership Development Programs I conduct at the University of Wisconsin and at presentations throughout the world. Scott has always been timely with help and suggestions for different formats and adjustments I need to make with respect to these exercises. He also continues to develop them, integrating new ideas and improvements with each year.
John P. Keenan, Ph.D., Director, Leadership Development Programs / Associate Professor of Management, University of Wisconsin - firstname.lastname@example.org
David Crookes, Senior Advisor, Vocational Training Council of Hong Kong
Whenever we can produce belly laughter, profound learning, and bottom-line results in the same round, it is a special experience that will not be forgotten.
Dr. Joe Marshall, Resource Management of Boston
In fact, a number of GMs have told me that it is the first time ever they have been given such a tool to use back at the hotel. They have been asking for some time for a tool they could take back to enhance a teambuilding effort. This really appears to be it.
Bill Ernest, Market Director, Marriott
Got the info Monday - absolutely brilliant. I did a new staff induction on Monday and ended up with fifteen minutes to kill whilst waiting for the service manager to introduce herself so I got out the overhead of Square Wheels. No preparation - very little introduction - very little explanation. I put it on the projector and simply said - "What do you see happening here?"
I was amazed by the amount of discussion it actually generated and was sorry that we had to cut it short. Ten out of ten.
Ray Morgan, Executive Vice President, Hongkong Bank
I have utilized the Square Wheels concept with several of our clients as a way to start discussions with a fun and powerful metaphor that really speaks to their experiences.
Gregg Baron, President, Success Sciences
Its use of simple, but creative drawings and metaphors invite learner participation, involvement, and feedback. You start by showing a drawing of some people pushing and pulling a wagon with Square Wheels. You make a few comments about it. This humorous and engaging drawing is guaranteed to break the ice by starting a lively discussion about how things are done within the organization. By following up with the other drawings, you guide the discussion through a number of subjects such as motivation, teamwork, change, leadership, and continuous improvement.
If you are implementing any Organization Development project, then you definitely need Square Wheels to bring out the best in your organization!
Don Clark Don "Big Dog" Clark's Book Review of "Managing and Leading Productivity"
Square Wheels is an excellent tool, with well-written text, great visuals and a must for any company or individual who is serious about change and making improvements!
Nic Stevens, Harris Methodist Hospital System - email@example.com
The formal Square Wheels Tour ends here. We hope you found it of interest. Please recognize that there is a lot more information about the cartoons on this website that we simply chose not to include on The Tour. There are a lot of other resources here, too.
Contact Scott Simmerman for a question or more information at Scott@SquareWheels.com
Go to What Are Square Wheels?
back to Square Wheels Home Page
back to Main Performance Management Company Home Page
go to Lost Dutchman Home Page