Making Change Happen – 6 Vital Sources of Influence

June 15, 2010

Since we all know that change is difficult and it takes some people longer to make personal and professional changes than others, please describe how one would use your thinking to enhance their odds of having a successful change?

by Joseph Grenny

sources of influence

If you want to confront persistent problem behavior, you need to combine multiple influences into an overwhelming strategy. Influencers succeed where others fail because they “over determine” success. Instead of focusing on a single root cause, they address all the root causes by combining a critical mass of influence strategies.

We have documented the success of this multi-pronged approach across organizational levels and across different problem domains. And while the results are impressive, they do not rely on an obscure calculus—if anything, they are built on simple arithmetic. Effective influencers drive change by relying on six different sources of influence strategies at the same time. Those who understand how to combine four to six sources of influence are up to ten times more successful at producing substantial and sustainable change.

To exponentially improve your chances of success, assemble a critical mass of the following 6 vital sources of influence:

  • Values—tie into what people care about, make it part of their moral imperative
  • Skills—teach others what to do and how to do it by using the latest techniques for helping individuals delay gratification and engage in deliberate practice
  • Support—tap into the massive motivational power of social pressure, turn annoying pressures into healthy motives
  • Teamwork—draw down on social capital by ensuring that everyone involved provides the information, helping hand, materials, and resources, required to succeed
  • Incentives—tie the vital behaviors directly to both existing and new sources of extrinsic motivation, learning how to make best use of small by symbolic rewards
  • Environment—structure the physical world—including all non-human forces such as work layout, reporting structures, policies and procedures—in such a way that makes the desired behaviors easy if not inevitable, while making the wrong behaviors noxious and difficult.

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