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Press Release from NC State University:
For Immediate Release
(in collaboration with one of my affiliates, George Smart)
North Carolina State University's Industrial Extension Service (IES), the first extension organization in America, and Strategic Development, Inc. (SDI), one of North Carolina's most recognized consulting firms, announce a strategic alliance.
IES will offer SDI's portfolio of consulting and training programs to companies statewide, especially to those organizations struggling with project management, strategic planning, or leadership development.
Beginning today, IES will offer NC businesses a chance to experience one of SDI's leading learning simulations, "The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine," on March 23 at NC State's Entertainment and Sports Arena off I-40 in Raleigh. "Lost Dutchman is an internationally successful half-day experience for organizations working on projects across business functions such as engineering, marketing, accounting, human resources, and manufacturing," says Gene Fornaro, Manager of IES Business Development.
"This program creates awareness about our almost instinctual drive to compete -- even against our own colleagues," says SDI CEO George Smart, the simulation leader. Smart brings 20 years experience as a speaker, consultant, and coach, including current service as Adjunct Faculty to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Organization Development Program.
"The deciding value comes from its laser focus on team communication AND making profit," says Margaret O'Brien, Director of the Standards and Advanced Performance Group, who has been with the IES since 1992 . "A lot of training ignores return on investment, but as most of us know, you can't stay in business without it." Satisfied Lost Dutchman clients include American Airlines, Ralston Purina, Applebee's, AT&T, IBM, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, and the Durham Chamber of Commerce.
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.
(Building Services Company)
Note: Ryan also used the Square Wheels materials as part of an industry presentation at a conference!
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.
I had an opportunity at the AQP Conference in Nashville last April to observe Scott perform his session and I was impressed with the simplicity and practicality of his "Square Wheels" process. These are tools that anyone can use to lead important, but sometimes difficult, discussions. If you have an opportunity to attend this conference and Scott's session, I think you'll appreciate adding these techniques to your toolbox.
Pete Grazier - Teambuilding, Inc.
I used the Square Wheels 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.
"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
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.
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
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
I've enthusiastically recommended Square Wheels to several of my colleagues and will continue to do so!
Randy Ransleben, Ransleben Consulting
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
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
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"
Contact Scott Simmerman for a question or more information at Scott@SquareWheels.com
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