In this piece I want to specifically look at how you can influence the change process with 4 Simple Actions.
Whilst the power of influence should not be overstated and I have looked at different forms of influence and how to apply them in other recent pieces including — ‘Build the Habit & Change for Good’, ‘A Brief Guide to Appreciative Inquiry’ & ‘Change by any Other Name’ — it runs true that some people have more Influence than others & translated into an organisational or business context this can mean that some people can be very influential regardless of title or level.
And basically they break down into 4 basic types:
- Experts: Regarded as Technically Credible
- Connectors: These Join People Together
- Controllers: Gatekeepers to People & Information; &
- Advocates: Your Champions & Sponsors of Change
Of course, the danger remains that in the doing and wrap-around of any change management process you can become over-reliant on using influence to drive the Change! It remains extremely important however, and there are 4 Key Actions that you can take to ensure that all influence is harnessed and used to effectively support any change initiative.
- Gather Key Information: Big Data and not so Big Data to inform and influence; &, this isn’t just for the Project Management Plan — It’s to have the right information to hand for all the meetings; It’s about establishing credibility, legitimacy and the authority to act in face of the technical and functional experts who might say this can’t be done, or this won’t work here for such and such reason: Prepare your Ground, demonstrate Personal Mastery, & Be on the front not the back foot!
- Establish A Network of Influencers: Work-out who the Key Influencers are and win their Trust and Support; build Leverage, Consensus & Buy-In; Invite them onto Project & Steering Groups — Ensure they have a vested interest and a personal stake in the outcome; Make them the Sponsors for and the Champions of the Change; Share Accountability — Spread the Load; & believe me, Timing is Crucial — Get in early before the word gets round and people start talking to each other and rumours begin to spring and abound. Remember, Human Nature will try to fill a vacuum if no information is forthcoming and you can’t necessarily rely on it being either helpful, or true — Even less so in the Post Truth World, perhaps?
- Involve Others: Go beyond the immediate and the obvious — Who else may be influential in other parts of the Organisation or Business? You want to create a sense of Energy, a Sense of Urgency and a Common Purpose — Think Wider, Think Total, Be Innovative & You will build a much stronger and enduring commitment to the whole Change process — Think Critical Mass & Warm Spots!
- And lastly, Influence Key Stakeholders: Once again look at how you can build and exercise leverage; Influence Senior Managers and Decision Makers to model new behaviours and play an active part in any communication strategy!
You need to be able to see and articulate the Big Picture & act accordingly
You need to know where the Real Power Lies. You need to Build Networks and Secure Alliances. You Need to be Aristotle’s ‘Active Seeker After Meaning’. You need to be Political, Tenacious and Authentic.
And You really do need to be a People Person able to demonstrate a strong Personal Connection to the Change which your local Sponsors, Champions and Stakeholders will believe, identify with, buy into and pass-on!
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd