I was working with a group of very bright technical experts on their strategies for building support for change. Lots of big words and lots of concepts being thrown around. We were all getting confused - and I do this for a living.
I stopped them, and said,” Look, it’s just energy. It’s either moving this way (toward support) or that way (into resistance).”
I was amazed. That simple comment shifted the entire conversation. When they started talking about energy moving one way or another, their own energy rose, and the work moved ahead easily.
The following week I was working with a change management team in a different organization. They were telling me about the problems they were having building support for a new initiative that would cut across their entire operation. They asked me what they should do. I needed more information, so I drew a horizontal line on the whiteboard. I told them at the far right was strong support, and at the far left was strong resistance.
Mind you, I didn’t have any markers on this line, just the words support and resistance. But that was enough for them to focus on what support they needed and what support or resistance they were likely to get. From there, it was pretty easy to talk about what strategies might actually work in their organization.
As I thought about those two experiences, I realized that this idea of energy moving this way or that way, was easy for people to understand, and easy for them to work with. The Energy Bar™ was born.
Throughout 2015, I used The Energy Bar™ with my clients. We taught each other a lot. I created a three-minute animated video that explained The Energy Bar™. A chemical engineer called me and said he loved it. He used it with his own leadership team and they wanted to use it with their teams. He and I had never worked together, but based on a three-minute cartoon he and his team were able to use the tool effectively.
www.energybartools.com is an outgrowth of all of that. When you visit the site, you’ll be invited to watch that three-minute and you’ll have a chance to take a three-question assessment that will show you how to use the energy bar effectively with a person or a group whose support you need. Based on your answers to the assessment, you are then connected to resources to help with your unique situation.
Everything on this site is free. In fact, the only place where I invite you to sign in at all, is for The Energy Bar Group, which is a place where we can exchange ideas related to support and resistance.
I hope you’ll take a look.
- Rick Maurer