There are times when you can't directly influence a key stakeholder. You may be too far away in the hierarchy, in a position or location where there is no access to important line managers, representing an unpopular or radically new point of view, or even outside the organization (a supplier, customer, or community member). The basic approach is similar to the one on influencing decision makers spelled out in Chapter 13, "Initiating or Leading Major Change," but there are a few additional things you can do to, in effect, make exchanges when you aren't present. You want to change someone's mind or get the person into a more receptive mode so that he or she will move in the direction you desire.
In addition to figuring out what might be important to the person or group you wish to influence, you want to see whether you can influence the person or organizational systems that influence your stakeholder. You may also be able to find ways to mobilize outside forces of some kind that will have an impact.
How can you figure out what might be important to distant stakeholders?
Let's assume you are far away from that stakeholder (outside the organization, far down the organization, or in a division that has a totally different purpose or product). You can start with what you know about the industry and the socioeconomic forces acting on it. If you know the growth rate ...