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Influence Without Authority, 3rd Edition by David L. Bradford, Allan R. Cohen

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Chapter 14Initiating or Leading Major Change

All influence is about making change. No matter what your purpose is—a new product development process, an improved organizational structure, a new compensation system, a great idea for a new business, or an alteration to your supply chain to save millions—you will have many people and groups to influence. But you face some special aspects when leading or initiating a major change effort for a goal you care about.

Because influence requires giving something of approximately equal value in return for what you need, major changes pose key challenges in acquiring the needed influence. 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 whose members believe in your goal. And you will need an incredible combination of patience, persistence, drive, and flexibility to keep your ultimate goal in mind while adjusting along the way.

Major change is complex and a thorough exploration requires a book in itself. So, in this chapter we focus on several key dimensions for maximum influence. To illustrate them, we start with a real example (only names have been changed) of a person faced with a problem others saw as intractable. With “no money and ...

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