You can influence change from inside an organization or from outside. The perspectives and approaches differ. My focus today is on how you can influence change as an insider.
Heretic, rebel, original, rare breed, gig mindsetter and insubordination….
The books you see below use different vocabulary. They offer complementary lenses on how challenging the status quo brings benefits for individuals and for organizations. They also address the risk angle.
You can read short descriptions of each book here:https://www.netjmc.com/books-rebels-gigmindsetters-positive-deviants/
Three ways to influence change from the inside
You’ll see the three points below in stories and discussion in the books, and you’ll discover other tactics as well.
Start from the edges – explore and discover surprises
Another way to influence the work culture in your organization is to communicate in the internal social network and get people to connect around your ideas. Don’t look to management. You’ll find plenty of ad hoc leaders in the crowd working on their own initiatives.
It is likely there are more than you thought. Look around for them, join forces with them and build momentum. The internal social network is a great source of energy.
Use senior management – hierarchy can be useful
If you’re able to influence even one person in a powerful position in your organization, you may be in luck. That person can become your stepping-stone to other senior people.
Of course, there is always the risk that, if at some point that person leaves, their successor may have a different, even potentially negative, approach to your work. That’s why you should develop your contacts with more than one senior person. If one changes, you can hopefully count on the others to support you.
Build virtual bridges – then stride across with confidence
Virtual lasts longer than physical – and it has the advantage of being invisible to many.Virtual structures such as online communities and networks are more likely to outlive changes in top management because they are “invisible” and attract less attention than do face-to-face events.
If you can organize lunches and after-work events with external guests, that’s great. Just be sure to keep a trace online, preferably with some photos!
What are your takeaways? What have you experienced that you can share with us?
Share your thoughts in the comments on the original post on LinkedIn (from March 15, 2022) and see what others think.