We’ve been using the metaphor about caterpillars and butterflies and the process of change for 15+ years and have developed a lot of neat little spins and visual anchors and presentation tools around this great theme.

Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly is a paradox. You can address some of the issues of individuals and change, but many are simply going to happen regardless of how you might attempt to manage the situation. The view of the butterfly is most assuredly not the view of the caterpillar.

Here is a poem that Joan and I have been developing for many years. Hope you like the paradox and the concepts:

Imagine two caterpillars looking on
As a beautiful butterfly floats on by
One turns saying, after it is gone,
“Not ever me as a butterfly that high!”

Push away Resistance and be open for Change.
STOP and be more than just a caterpillar, ho hum.
Start by envisioning ideas beyond your range
And gain The Answer to what you can become.

As with the Caterpillar, it could be a gooey mess
But you’ll improve and gain self esteem, for sure
Change is about letting go, trusting the process
Of becoming more than you are with things you were.

The caterpillar was quite resistant and content;
Causing him to ignore what the change involved.
He thought his answer would stop the event–
His Mother is a moth—his problem was solved!

Can we all learn from this? What can we try?
Fight it as we might, Change will come our way
The caterpillar’s colors are in and on the butterfly

We, too, can transform with our colors still in play.

The theme of Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly is one that we develop in our Managing and Leading Change Toolkit. We build on the idea of the Square Wheels wagon and on the idea of mentoring and coaching for improved perspective and decreased resistance to change. It is one of our products to involve and engage people and to facilitate change. Find out more about that toolkit here.


You can find Part One of our blog article of this title at this location.

We hope you enjoy the idea. The concept of transformation is one of interest to every coach, mentor and parent.

For the FUN of It!

Scott and Caterpillar Picture

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools on themes of engagement and change. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/scottsimmerman/

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