The concept is simple: The wagon rolls on Square Wheels while the cargo are round rubber tires. The communications between wagon puller and wagon pushers is difficult and the people are too busy pushing and pulling to see that improvements can be implemented.


Using this starting metaphor, we can demonstrate that workshop participants all have somewhat different perspectives on the image and see different things. Discussion of these initial reactions and thoughts is what we use to emphasize that discussions of performance improvement opportunities requires active involvement and shared perspectives, that alignment to key issues and opportunities is important for generating ideas and implementing change.


The active involvement you generate can tie neatly to changing the language of improvement. Things labeled “Square Wheels” can represent things that work but that do not work smoothly. “Round Wheels” represent ideas that merit discussion for possible implementation. The latter should generate solid discussions about implementation strategies, and implementation is generally a performance improvement opportunity for most organizations, be it for corporate strategy or for some workplace process.


These materials work to align thinking and performance. They can help executive teams better focus on missions and visions and generate cohesiveness as well as agreement on implementing change. Performance coaches appreciate the focus on the things that do not work smoothly and the reality that people are not tied to the problems. Performance Improvement consultants will see that the focus is on continuous continuous improvement, that the Round Wheels of Today will become the Square Wheels of Tomorrow.


We sell simple and very adaptable toolkits for the purpose of impacting change and improving innovation. We also support these leadership development tools with modules that can be used by supervisors with their people on our sister website,