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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on change I know
As one who has recently written a book ("Difficult Converstions"), I'm aware that reader reviews sometimes come off as being written by a well-meaing friend or colleague. So I want to be clear that I've never even heard of Rick Maurer. I got his book off Amazon.com, along with about ten other books on corporate change. Mr. Maurer's book is the one I find...
Published on July 20, 1999 by dstone@pon.law.harvard.edu

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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incorrectly categorized
This book could have more appropriately been categorized as a negotiation strategy or conflict management book. Most examples in this book focus on negotiating a settlement between two (and only two) opposing groups when a change is proposed. There is little or no mention made of change management per se. Further, it's theories and suggestions focus very little on...
Published on May 8, 2000


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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on change I know, July 20, 1999
As one who has recently written a book ("Difficult Converstions"), I'm aware that reader reviews sometimes come off as being written by a well-meaing friend or colleague. So I want to be clear that I've never even heard of Rick Maurer. I got his book off Amazon.com, along with about ten other books on corporate change. Mr. Maurer's book is the one I find the most compelling. More than any of the others, this book tries to adjust our relationship to resistance - to see it as natural, to engage with it, to treat resistors with respect, honesty, and to listen with genuine curiosity, thus turning resistors into legitimate partners in the process of change. It's the only book on change that I recommend to my own organizational clients. Congrats, Rick, on a terrific book, and thanks.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful from the moment I picked it up!, January 6, 1999
By A Customer
Many books have been written about change and how to do it. This one is different. It explores how to deal with the natural and inevitable resistance to change. Many organizations have already undertaken massive change efforts, wrenching processes which have left people reeling -- and resistent. Rick's book focuses on how to use the power of resistance to build support for change in organizations. It explores the nature of resistance, how to recognize it, and what to do about it. It is full of practical, immediately useful techniques and tips for ensuring successful and enduring change. Must read!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipe is a Masterpiece--Best Book I've Read!, February 27, 2000
This is the "best" book I've read! With "change" the norm, you must know how to lead the change and we don't lead dollars or materials--it is people--as Tom Peters puts it--"people are our only asset". The author does an outstanding job of walking you through how to make change a reality--dealing head on--with people. I remember the authors recipe with the letters "PEP". Changes force an individual into a "protection" mode (which is natural), but you and I must understand that the protection wall is nothing buy "energy" (but it is critical to understand the energy is not positive nor negative--just energy). Next is "paradox"--you and I must continously engage in dialogue to help people understand why the change is necessary--thus continuously engaging the protective energy. The paradox is the more you engage the protective energy the more it becomes "positive"--leading to the individuals support of change. I have used this recipe and it works--people do not wake up in the morning--planning on how to oppose the future--they just want to understand. I read two books a week, and I've shared the contents of this book with many. THE BEST BOOK I'VE READ!
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incorrectly categorized, May 8, 2000
By A Customer
This book could have more appropriately been categorized as a negotiation strategy or conflict management book. Most examples in this book focus on negotiating a settlement between two (and only two) opposing groups when a change is proposed. There is little or no mention made of change management per se. Further, it's theories and suggestions focus very little on questions such as, "how do I get people to accept and support the change that I am proposing," and rather much more on understanding when resistance to your idea is present. Frankly, I know when resistence is present, I'm more interested in what to do with it.
Finally, the book is poorly written, in my opinion. It often wanders from the subject at hand to make obsure references - e.g., Groucho Marx movies and the third century emperor Pyrrhus. These references are distracting, and inappropriate in a book designed for corporate managers who have little time to read as it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, January 16, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
Rick provides a long over due update to his seminal work on resistance in organizations. I've used this book in my consulting practice over the years with great success. He offers a clear and lucid explanation of how resistance shows up in organizations and ways to embrace it. Of particular interest is his description of the 3-levels of resistance. Where others treat the subject as theory, Rick hits it head on with real-life examples and approaches of how to turn resistance it into a constructive force. This is a must read for all leaders and consultants who work in an ever changing environment. And that's all of us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I Just Do Not Get It, April 17, 2011
By 
BG "glanceb" (Arlington, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
I found the book to be wish-washy and short on concrete tools for overcoming resistance. The book spends far too much time identifying barriers and pitfalls to dealing with resistance rather than on how to effectively eliminate or overcome it. As a Lean Six Sigma certified Black Belt, perhaps I am jaded against non-data driven decision making. The book acknowledges that a lot of the time rationality and logic often do not play a role in resistance. If this is the case then how can you have an effective repeatable and reliable methodology?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can i resist thee?, December 12, 2010
This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of all changes STILL fail - and what you can do about it (Revised Edition) by Rick Maurer Bard Press Austin Texas 2010.

Years ago my director at the time told me point blank that change was always good. What universe did he inhabit? From that point on I ceased to trust him altogether, an extreme but sadly justified decision. So when I read Rick Maurer's Beyond the Wall of Resistance I was looking for vindication above all else. I found it in Chapter 5, "Ignore the Context at Your Peril." Change can be difficult and resistance is definitely not always wrong.

However, change is also the only way most things get better. Frequently change is far from discretionary, indeed it is essential for survival. Furthermore, especially when it is an unforced option, change represents our best chance at extensive lasting positive improvement. For instance, consider Stephen Covey's second quadrant in his time management matrix. Rick Maurer examines the three most important aspects of change goals, intentions and process. He offers an interesting array of ways to consider change, and in particular with resistance to change.

To begin with, change as a human phenomenon is a perceived process. We begin in the dark, then we see the challenge, get started, roll out our response and examine the results before moving on to the next change. At any point in the cycle we may have to struggle with resistance which may delay or derail our progress. However, unless that resistance leads to disturbing results or becomes entrenched, it should be accepted and sometimes embraced. Better results ensue when compromise begets innovation.

Resolved resistance fosters engagement and it is the failure to appreciate the potential power of engagement which is one of the four biggest mistakes leaders tend to make. The other three are: assuming understanding equals support and commitment, failing to appreciate the (negative) power of fear and failing to acknowledge how even a slight lack of trust and confidence in leaders can kill an otherwise fine idea. As the title asserts, although I don't recall seeing either a litmus test or statistical support for the number, perhaps as many as 70% of all change initiatives end in failure. Certainly, we all know of conspicuous change efforts that fall flat on their metaphorical faces.

At one point Rick describes the three critical things a leader or anyone else must invariably do if they want the changes they champion to succeed. For me, this straightforward listing constitutes the major insight of the book. For some reason, I had always thought any two out of the three should be sufficient. Now I believe I know better. In brief, you must convince your staff, customers or audience of the following: the soundness of your argument, a gut level acceptance of your proposed change and your own complete trustworthiness.

In the second two parts of the book Rick Maurer delves into the nitty-gritty of successful change. He shows us how to do change throughout the cycle and how to get back on track when we lose our way. He reviews tactics to raise our change management capacity. Another big insight: too much change directed activity is simply goal directed. A more subtle appreciation of change as process would remind us that resistance is absorbed and results are far better focused when intention not just a checklist of preconceived goals becomes our focus. In other words, when we learn we should also learn when to modify our direction, to allow our intentions to evolve.

In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I've attended a Rick Maurer workshop where I found him engaging in manner and clear in delivery. Before the event I asked his publisher to supply a review copy of Beyond the Wall of Resistance and Ray Bard graciously complied. Nevertheless, this subject is important to me as a life coach and strategic thinker and I would not give this or any other author on the topic a free ride. Speaking of other authors, let me end this review by commending the author for including discussions with such astute change authorities as Meg Wheatley, Peter Block and Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. These inserts add depth of focus to the argument of the text. As Peter Block summarizes in his interview, "Resistance is simply a reluctance to choose."

This review has been concurrently posted to Strategic Praxis, the reviewer's blog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revised, updated, infused with value, July 30, 2010
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This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
Rick Maurer has taken the best of his original "beyond resistance work", "Why Don't You Want What I Want" and added new observations and suggestions to deal with significant change. This isn't blind prescription, Rick uses evidence based research & real practitioner input to revise, update & infuse this book with very useful suggestions to help people leading change to engage those impacted by change. I am totally biased here - I have known Rick for 15 years & have used his ideas with great results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The change benchmark, March 11, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
This must be the benchmark for management reading on change. The brilliance of this book is the simplicity in which a complex topic like change is described. It almost makes understanding change easy.

I couldn't help myself saying 'yes... yes you're right' while I was reading it. The 3 levels of change resistance are my change religion now and I use them every day in my job. I'm telling people about it. Guess what? It all makes sense when I explain it.

An other eye opener and great piece of advice is to actually value resistors and use the information they provide you in your change effort. It's hard work, but it works for me now rather then against me.

And there is much more to explore in this book as it provides free tools to improve you as a leader of change.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Maurer's Cycle of Change model is useful, but doesn't need anywhere near this number of ..., August 5, 2014
This review is from: Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It (Paperback)
Just not a lot here. You can find online a paper by Maurer on the same topics that gives you 90% of the content in less than 10% of the pages. The bashing of people who've done in wrong and the presumption that even the reader is skipping around to avoid doing it right is just plain condescending. A textbook (not by my choice) in a course I taught, I could not argue with students who found it offensive. Maurer's Cycle of Change model is useful , but doesn't need anywhere near this number of pages to communicate.
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Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail--and What You Can Do About It
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