Chapter 13. Initiating or Leading Major Change

All influence is about making change. Whether you are in charge of a new product development process, a change in organization structure, the implementation of a new compensation system—or have a great idea for a new and different business or a change such as altering your supply chain to save millions—there will be many people and groups to influence. But there are some special aspects to leading a major change effort or to initiating one on behalf of a goal you care about.

Because influence requires giving something of value in return for what you need, there are key challenges in acquiring the needed influence to make a major change happen. You will have to influence people above or to the side of you in the hierarchy, getting them to provide resources, information, support, or approval. You will have to cope with and master organizational politics. You will have to assemble a working team that believes in what you are trying to do. And you will need an incredible combination of patience and persistence, drive, and flexibility to keep your ultimate goal in mind while adjusting along the way.

Change encompasses many different aspects of influence, so we urge you to read the conceptual Chapters 2 through 7 and Practical Application chapters titled "Influencing Colleagues (12)," "Influencing Your Boss (8)," and "Understanding and Overcoming Organizational Politics (15)." In addition, you can gain great insights from two extended examples ...

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