Lesson Learned #2: Influence Matters
And not all influence is created equal.
You would assume because someone’s title or tenure they have or do not have influence. But it goes deeper than that.
What I learned from many projects and helping customers, is that “Top Down” is important. But it wasn’t enough. We needed “Bottom Up” influence as well.
The influencers are the ones who help change daily habits. They are the ones that will say, “Hey, I thought we were trying XYZ this week, instead of the old way.”
Finding these people can be difficult. But these are the people who, regardless of title or tenure, people follow. They are the ones that announce where everyone is going to lunch this week and everyone just follows them.
Having these influencers not only support, but also participate and encourage other around them helps to motivate the behaviors and changes you hope to see.
Looking back I realized we placed a lot of hope in the executive teams at some of the largest organizations we worked with. And this was a good thing, and it mattered to the launch and the success of the change. We also identified “Champions” to help advocate at the more local levels. However, some of our champs weren’t as influential as we’d initially thought.
Here’s the thing about influence, as an influencer, you become someone who can literally effect on the character of a person. And this can go a long way promoting and socializing change. But how do you measure this? If someone thinks they’re influential, does that automatically discount them? I’ll explore this deeper in another few posts (because I have a few good stories to share), but looking back I wish I would have dug a bit deeper into the influence and perceived influence people have within their organization.