Persuasion is a hot topic in the business and personal world currently as everyone wants to bend others to their will. Influencer does not focus on persuasion, but on how to drive change on a project through six different sources of influence.
These six sources of influence can be broken into three categories across two subcategories as shown in the illustration below. The three categories apply to personal, social, and structural (the environment). These categories can then be applied to motivation and ability. The authors argue that influence depends on if an individual is motivated to do a task (what gives them pleasure or displeasure), and their ability to perform it (do they know how, do they have the tools). In order to be a successful influencer, you must apply all six sources as change happens through a combination of all the above.
- Make the undesirable desirable
- Surpass your limits
- Harness peer pressure
- Find strength in numbers
- Design rewards and demand accountability – rewards are often too lofty or not aligned with the goal. I.e. in communist countries rewards were applied to number of holes drilled for oil, as a result oil production dropped because rigs never drilled deep enough which took longer than lots of shallow holes.
- Change the environment – a small change in environment can make a major impact. This can be from an industrial engineering perspective, or from getting out of the current location and looking at the problem from a different angle.
This book is a reminder that change is complicated and that a lot of variable are in play. I have used it to do a post mortem on projects that I think received friction, and considered whether all six sources were addressed and then hypothesized if things might have went differently.
If you liked Crucial Conversations, you will enjoy this book. While I picked up a lot of novel ideas, I am not sure that I will be able to apply their full model all the time. Additionally, a lot of the case studies were difficult to align with in my experience.