Vital Smarts. Introduction to Influencer: The Power to Change Anything Douglas L. Finton, Managing Director Vital Skills International, LC Principal Associates of VitalSmarts. What Could You Do with More Influence?. Move your strategy from PowerPoint to reality.
Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
Douglas L. Finton, Managing Director
Vital Skills International, LC
Principal Associates of VitalSmarts
85% of organizational change efforts fail.
– Arthur D. Little
Big Point. The most important capacity we possess is the ability to influence behavior—that of ourselves or others.
And yet few of us have any systematic way of even thinking about this most precious capacity!
So, when it comes to our toughest influence challenges, we fail.
Most all of the Influencers we found were profoundly influenced by the work of Dr. Albert Bandura.
A vital behavior:
The Big Idea
Even with complex and long-standing problems, just a few vital behaviors can lead to enormous change.
Find the vital behaviors, and find a powerful leverage point for change.
Examples of Vital Behaviors
Candid dialogue during the planning phase
On time project performance
Create and maintain a functional diverse workforce
Improve our ability to confront those who cross our personal boundaries
Improve how we disagree
Lasting and happy relationship
Slow down when you get near the lines!
High quality coloring
Write down everything I eat
Don’t look for influence strategies (such as creating public awareness)—just look for crucial moments and the behaviors you’d need during them.
(E.g., Diversity: when individual boundaries are crossed, is the person able to speak candidly and respectfully to the offender about the boundary, and reach a new agreement around respect?)
Not the End
To achieve such amazing success, Influencers used every aspect of the Influence Model.
We live in a quick fix world looking for “silver bullet” answers to complex influence problems.
Your world is perfectly organized to create the behavior you’re currently experiencing.
Influencers succeed where the rest of us fail because they “over determine” success.
They marshal a critical mass of all Six Sources of Influence to make change inevitable.
The influence of the pleasure or pain of the behavior itself.
Many Vital Behaviors are boring, frightening, uncomfortable or even painful and many wrong behaviors feel pretty good—for a while.
We spend most of our lives morally disengaged… we are unconscious of the moral and human implications of our choices.
As a result…
The influence of skill.
Many Vital Behaviors are far more physically or emotionally challenging than we realize.
So we grossly under-invest in building skills.
The influence of other people – through modeling, praise, helping, and enabling.
Small changes in your social system can lead to big changes in behavior—Add a friend. Throw in some encouragement. Build a little accountability. And change happens.
You don’t need to have relationships with everyone you’re trying to influence.
You just need to gain influence with those who do.
Sources 3 and 4—The Promise
The influence of costs, incentives, and accountability.
Rewards, incentives, or costs encourage the wrong behaviors or discourage the right ones.
Reward Systems Matter a Lot
In Broward County, Florida, an elderly person facing a competency hearing was evaluated by three court-appointed experts and defended by a court-appointed attorney.
The psychiatrists were paid more when they judged someone to be incapacitated than when they judged them to be competent ($325 versus $125).
What do you think happened?
Reward Systems Matter a Lot
Of598 competency proceedings in the year, 570 ended with a verdict of incompetence.
Source: Kerns, 1995
The influence of space, data, cues, tools, processes, and other environmental factors.
We are blind to the incessant and powerful force the environment exerts on our own and others’ behavior.
How close it is.
Cues that tell you how much you’re eating.