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Thoughts on Leadership

Tools for an Influence Others Campaign

Influencing your organization for a major initiative, change, or campaign is very challenging. You need a bird’s eye view and a few helpful tools. With some forethought and awareness, your influence will be effective and the initiative will move forward.


Bird’s Eye View

It is interesting how some football coaches like to be up in the box to see the big picture of the game. There is great value in stepping back and seeing the whole team in action.

When I was in an executive leadership position, there were always initiatives and campaigns to bring organizational strength and growth.  There is definitely an art and science to influencing others.

The most effective influencers in my division always met with me before the official meeting. They not only thought about their department, but they also gained awareness of the impact and influence of other department heads.

In a previous post on Influencing Others, the reality came out that influence rarely happens in the group before it happens through individual conversations.

2 Tools for an Influence Others Campaign

You may need assistance getting an idea or initiative approved through your organization or department.

Maybe you need to step back to evaluate the organizational politics so you are not blindsided by introducing an idea in the official meeting.

The 2 tools we will consider are the “Power and Opinion Analysis” and the “Influence Org Chart.”

Benefits of using the Influence Others Campaign Framework

  • Have more influence in your organization
  • Get your ideas accepted even without formal influence
  • Political landmines and traps can be avoided
  • Get things done while strengthening relationships

Tool 1: Power and Opinion Analysis

You will draw a chart using some basic stakeholder scores similar to the example chart below.

Write down all the stakeholders in the decision.

Give each person a 1 low, 2 medium, 3 high score based on what power they have.

Give each person a -3 low to +3 high score based on what is their opinion about the idea.

Multiply the power score by the opinion score to find out how supportive they will be for your idea.

Stakeholder diagram.png

Once you have the awareness you need, you can design an influence strategy for each stakeholder and the group as a whole.

Tool 2: Influence Org Chart

Most org charts are written based on role and reporting structures.

The Influence Org Chart is written based on the results of the Power and Opinion Analysis.

  • Small, Medium and Large boxes are based on the Power score
  • Red represents a negative opinion and Green represents a positive opinion of the idea

Here is an informal handwritten example—no need to get fancy.

Once you have awareness of the power and opinion scores of the various stakeholders, you can design a strategy of influence moving forward.

What is a major initiative, campaign, or project you need to assess so you can have maximum influence?

Check out Leader’s Toolkit for frameworks which have helped other leaders.

Adapted with licensed permission from Center for Executive Coaching.