Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance and other books on leadership and change, developed the Energy Bar™ as a free tool to help people in organizations get their ideas across in ways that get people committed and engaged. RickRick has advised leaders from many countries on ways to apply this new tool successfully.


  • follow me
  • Linkedin icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Twitter icon

19 Common Reasons Why Energy Drops During Major Changes


Stage 1 - Making a Compelling Case (feel urgency to change)

  • Not making a compelling case that a change is needed
  • Information regarding why change is needed occurs in little bits and pieces
  • Making a compelling case then not doing anything to address this challenge or opportunity
  • Sense of urgency gets forgotten over time

Stage 2 - Getting Started on the Right Foot (excited and meaningfully engaged)

  • Holding an important planning meeting with stakeholders and then nothing appears to happen for weeks or months
  • Leaving one or more important stakeholders out of the planning activities
  • No way for some or many stakeholders to influence planning in any meaningful way
  • Most communication is one-way from the leaders (Q&A counts as one-way communication)

Stage 3 - Implementing and Rolling Out the Change (respect and the work matters)

  • Failing to make a seamless transition from planning to implementation
  • It appears that the leaders have moved on and abandoned the project after Stage 2
  • Difficult for stakeholders to influence implementation or rollout
  • Insufficient resources allocated for this change
  • Work at this stage is not rewarded. Work on this change might even be ignored or punished
  • People are working on too many projects to do things well
  • Most communication is one-way (Q&A counts as one-way communication)

Stage 4 - Getting Value from the Change (committed to creating real value)

  • Insufficient resources allotted for ensuring that the change actually does create value
  • Potential value of this project is stated in vague or meaningless terms
  • Leaders appear to continue to reward old ways of working
  • Using Stage 3 implementation objectives to evaluate success rather than focusing on creating value

Tips for using this list of 19 common errors...

  • This list is not the definitive list. I hope you will add to it and adapt the existing items to describe situations that you have experienced.
  • I like to use the list as a quick diagnostic tool to leaders and planning groups anticipate potential problems before they ever occur. It can make it easier for people to talk about things that may be hard to bring up.
  • Quite often, the opportunity to avoid one of these errors comes at an earlier stage. For example, the errors during Stage 3 can best be avoided by addressing them during S2, the planning stage.
  • I came up with this list of common errors to support my work with the Batteries Not Included™ Map. I often ask clients to identify the common errors that occur with some frequency in their organizations and then create a map that avoids those potential pitfalls.

If you are starting a new project and wonder if you will be able to build and sustain strong support, then please consider taking our 7-part online program which is designed to help leaders and their planning teams meet that challenge.

Contact us using the email address on this page, and we’ll let you know when a new session is beginning, and we will send you a detailed description of the program.

© 2019 Rick Maurer