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ATD Blog

Chocolate and Change


Wed Jun 15 2016

Chocolate and Change

Have you ever thought about how much chocolate and change are alike? No? Well, other than eating lots of chocolate when I need to manage change, I’m not sure I have either!

However, with the launch of my latest ATD book, Change Management Training, part of the ATD Workshop series, I’ve connected the two. I am eating more chocolate as the launch tasks and the changes I need to make mount. So yes, I do see a relationship between chocolate and change.


Relationship? Really? Try these:

  • Both chocolate and change can be messy. 

  • Both chocolate and change involve habits that can be hard to break. 

  • Both are good for you. 


Eating chocolate can be messy. No doubt about it. I’ve dropped my share of chocolate flecks on new white shirts! Managing change can be equally messy. Perhaps you’ve been tasked to design or deliver training for your organization to help employees manage change. You know how messy it’s going to be with getting commitment, addressing resistance, and implementing changes. Well, Change Management Training can certainly help tidy things up for you. 

All the content and tools have been designed to help you deliver a compelling training session. That’s not all. Purchasing the book gives you the license to print and use the online activities, handouts, and PowerPoint slides without further permission. What a time-saver! What will you find?

  • 23 engaging learning activities 

  • 24 practical handouts 

  • a complete set of inspiring slides  

  • three useful assessments 

  • several optional formats: two-day, one-day, a half-day semi-flipped, and even 19 lunch ’n’ learn suggestions.

Your change management training doesn’t need to be messy! 


New research published by Duke University and the National Institutes for Health in January 2016 shows that habits leave a lasting mark on our brain. The brain’s circuitry actually adjusts itself to support the habit you may want to break.


Change requires everyone to change habits and make adjustments. Therefore, leaders will most likely experience some resistance. The key is to have good role models, navigate the resistance to change, and develop change-ready employees. Activities for each of these are included in the book.

Now, as far as chocolate goes? I’m not ready to give up that habit yet! 

It’s Good for You 

Many claims have been made about the health value of chocolate. (I should know! I’ve been collecting these articles for years!) Scientists have known for some time that cocoa leads the pack when it comes to flavanol-rich foods that have the potential to boost heart health, lower blood sugar, and decrease body fats. Now the University of South Australia has published research (February 2016) that suggests that chocolate is associated with better cognitive functioning. They found that people who eat chocolate once or more each week have improved memory, visual-spatial memory, and abstract reasoning.

And of course we all know that change is good for us, too! It’s just a matter of determining how to build capacity for the continuous change that is coming our way. Nothing has prepared us for the magnitude, speed, and constancy of change that we face daily. Change Management Training will help you explain the new world of change to your learners. 

Do You See Similarities? 

What similarities do you see between change and chocolate? Comparing change to chocolate can keep us on our training toes to design and deliver the best darn workshops our learners have ever experienced.


Both chocolate and change can be exhilarating—and so is this book. No, the book isn’t about chocolate. But it will satisfy all your cravings to deliver a good managing change workshop. In fact all the books in this workshop series are written by experts and are grounded in the theory and best practices you’d expect from ATD. How do I know? I have five of the seven books in this series sitting on my bookshelf! Check ’em out . . . and while you’re perusing Change Management Training, grab a chunk of chocolate!

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