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.


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Leadership Success Story: Restoring an ill-fated major capital investment



What do you do when you’re the leader of a company and a major capital investment isn’t turning out as planned?

Revenue is not coming in as projected. Expenses are higher than they should be.

And the industry itself is unstable at best.

Everything has stakeholders and staff worried about the potential fallout.

That's the scenario Senior Executive and Consultant John Wipfler faced when he was CEO of a large Orthopaedics system and the company had just invested in developing a Sports Performance Center.

At the time of John's project, there were glitches with revenue upon the start-up of the center. In fact, John said they were looking at a bad year. Meanwhile, healthcare as an industry was going through major changes from a regulatory perspective and dealing with many consolidations and mergers. John and his team faced the challenge of trying to stay independent and strategically realign the business, and the challenge of ensuring the physician group, board, and staff were not worried about what was happening in the industry.

John joined me for an Energy Bar Tool podcast this summer to share his strategy for success. The backbone of the strategy was the promise to be open and transparent with stakeholders and staff. A reminder to all of us that leadership can never be one person and great leaders inspire those around them.   

As any leader of a large organization will attest, the larger the company the more competing interests. During our conversation, John shared how he brought the team of more than 230 employees, plus board members and other key stakeholders together. He also reveals the one key ingredient for gaining the staff’s full engagement and squashing their fears of suggesting creative approaches to solve the problem.

John said, "The year was salvaged from a financial perspective. Owners got a satisfactory YE distribution and staff had their best total YE bonus in history based on the results. They were VERY happy. We were true to our promise to not lay anyone off. Not only was it a financial success but it created greater trust and engagement in the organization and was a deeply satisfying process. If as a Board and leadership team we had chosen to "solve the problem" and announce the solution, I have not doubt that the culture would have suffered and the outcome would not have been as financially positive."

I hope you will take the time to listen to the podcast. It’s a remarkable story.