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Once upon a time, there was a town called “Dittoborough”, in the charming county of Samebridgeshire, where everything and everyone seemed to be stuck in their old ways.  Don’t get me wrong, the people of Dittoborough were not unhappy.  In fact, in many ways they were quite comfortable.  It’s just that change and growth were a bit scary for them.

One day, a traveller arrived in Dittoborough with a curious invention—a wheel.  He showed it off around the town, letting the inhabitants see all the wonderful things it could do and how it could make their lives better.  He used it to move heavy loads, but the sled makers said it went too fast and was dangerous.  He used it to ride around on, but the shoemakers became worried that people would stop walking and no longer need shoes.  They spread rumours about the wheel, saying it would make you overweight and lazy.

The traveller knew that if the good people of Dittoborough didn’t start to use the wheel they would fall behind the other towns and cities in the land, and might miss out on all the grants, funds, and development loans that the government were rolling out.  He would also be stuck with the 500 wheels he had bulk bought at a discount price but with no refunds – not a happy turn of events!  He was starting to get deflated when he suddenly thought of a good idea: he decided to use humour to spread the word around.

He devised an advertising campaign, which asked people to ‘Try out a wheel, because it’s wheely good.’  Everyone had a laugh when they saw the advert, as the people of Dittoborough enjoyed a pun as much as the next town, which was across Harrison Fjord – told you they liked puns.  The traveller had successfully used what the townsfolk were familiar with (puns) to start them thinking about what they weren’t familiar with (wheels).

Slowly at first, but getting faster as time went on, the inhabitants decided to take a chance on the wheel.  And to everyone’s surprise, except for the traveller, it made their daily tasks much easier and more efficient.  They could now transport goods faster, travel further, and explore new territories.  The town was no longer stuck, and progress was finally being made.

The sled makers quickly started making wagons, and the shoemakers discovered that now people had more leisure time, they needed different kinds of shoes.  They had never been so busy!

But change wasn’t always easy, and the people of Dittoborough faced a few challenges along the way.  There were those who resisted change and tried to sabotage the progress made by the wheel.  Others had to retrain in new careers. However, the people of Dittoborough didn’t give up.  They united and found ways to overcome the obstacles together.

Many good things came from the experience: a new TV show (Wheel or No Wheel), a mobile doctor’s surgery (Physician Wheel Thyself), even new farming methods (Make Hay Wheel the Sun Shines).  And to show their gratitude, the people of the town made the traveller their spokesperson.  That’s the way Dittoborough now rolled.

In the end, the town prospered, and the wheel became a symbol of their ability to embrace change and adapt to new circumstances.  The people of Dittoborough learned that change can be scary, but it can also be a catalyst for growth and success.  They realised that it’s not about avoiding change but about learning to navigate it with humour, perseverance, and teamwork. And as Shakespeare (almost) said, ‘All’s wheel that ends wheel.’

How are you, your team and your company embracing change?  Research from The Ken Blanchard Companies® found that like those in the story, only 15% will be ready for and advocates of change, 70% will be unsure and not interested or engaged in any change and 15% will actively resist change and will adversely influence others if not listened to. To manage change successfully it is essential that you implement a plan to ensure each group is heard and involved at each step – the same applies at home too! 😉