Decisions, strategies, projects and careers are usually determined by the influence of others, both inside and beyond the organisation. One of the most rewarding areas of executive and group coaching is helping clients understand and manage stakeholder and influence dynamics. Clients may be executives or steering committees.

Generally acknowledged stakeholders represent only one component of influence, but there are many others. Influence on people and projects frequently comes from unanticipated sources and in many forms. It can be direct or indirect, manifest or latent.  I work with clients to identify these sources and develop an ‘influence map’.

The influence map is a diagram of all sources of influence on the client; a person (as in coaching) or a steering committee or board. The generally acknowledged stakeholders usually link directly to the client, but others can communicate influence away from the client to colleagues and sometimes to the client via third parties.

On that map,  the client is helped to identify these sources of influence, link them directly and indirectly to the client, and characterised them as positive, negative or unknown. It is from the client’s perspective that the influence must be managed so we take care to ensure we reflect only the client’s views.

Strategies for the client’s management of influence is developed on the map. This involves the client and others proposing various scenarios for managing the influence. The acid test of scenario feasibility is whether and how the scenario would be measured at each point in its life cycle.  When a scenario appears feasible it can be implemented along with its measurement requirements as a strategy.

This approach to stakeholder and influence management has been successfully used by myself in many coaching and consulting engagements. The map and strategies can be developed rapidly as necessary to meet the most demands.

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I work with individuals (executive coaching), and committees (stakeholder management facilitation) to develop the influence map and strategies for management. To discuss this please contact me on 0417 669 992 or email me at james@trieb.com.au,

There are several related papers on the subject in the bibliography page of this website, which I can send if you wish.

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