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Coaching Influence Intrepenuership Leadership Personal development Strategy

‘I have been asking for this change in the business for two years? ‘

What does this statement say about you?

Way more than you think! Loser not being able to influence to get an outcome. Give up to easily. Victim

Since moving to corporate getting anything done, is infinitely harder than in a small and medium business.

The reason: many more stakeholders with many different agendas. Unless you have the patience, combined with excellent influencing skills and stamina to see it through, you could be the person making the statement ‘I have been asking for this business change for two years? ‘

Is it worth driving for the change? Yes you have your values and none of us come to work to do a bad job. We all want to make difference. So how do you go about making the change?

  1. Really clearly define what you want to change. Put it in simple terms. Test the messaging with peers and team members
  2. Use examples of how it will have an impact, who it will impact
  3. Business case to demonstrate one of the following : revenue increase, cost saving or risk mitigation. If capital is required then their are extra steps re: budget etc depending on budget cycle.
  4. Finally the risks and mitigation strategies for each risk. Clearly lay out and don’t miss any. Be open to receiving more!
  5. Once you have the above nailed, then you need to go to your stakeholders and take them through steps 1-4. Solicit feedback, enhance any of the fours steps with the feedback and continue as you go stakeholder to stakeholder to gain support. Don’t miss any stakeholders. Look who is on the leadership team, do you have them covered?
  6. When someone says “No” they wont support, deep dive on the why? fully understand why they are opposed. If you uncover reasons that you should not proceed, then you are wiser, you can move on. If you don’t agree with their views then proceed to get more feedback, ensure the non supporters risks are captured and you have clear mitigation as this wont be the last time it will be raised.
  7. Once you have done the rounds and you have adequate support,( if not you need to rethink the strategy), take your boss through 1-4 with all the feedback and then all the names of people you have spoken with and who is supporting your recommended change. Agree the next step of approval and implementation.

The above could take significant time, but it is always worthwhile. Being passionate about a better future is contagious and a great leadership trait.

This lesson I am constantly relearning. My personal challenge is flawlessly executing the above every time, as once I meet the person who say No, once I hear this I stop dead in my tracks, especially from more senior leaders and start to reflect on the request, and then eventually I put it in the drawer for another day. With experience and benefit of hindsight I realise that is not what the business needs, they need the challenger mindset and finding support is not far away if you are prepared to look.

Don’t be the victim saying “been asking for this business change for 2 years”. Take action.

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Coaching Influence Judgement Mentoring Personal development

When personal stories do not serve us

Story telling is an art and something valued in society, as it creates connection, its memorable, its predictable to the listener as it has a beginning middle and end. However there are stories that we tell ourselves and others which are highly damaging. They right what we see as wrong in the world and stop us learning from the situation.

For many years I told a story about why I left the entrepreneurial world of start up to goto corporate. The story is I wanted to see how big companies worked. That is true but another story I tell is how I failed to influence the CTO and CEO of the global business to take a more pragmatic approach to a technology sunset challenge. A story I told for many years: This was to validate to me that the decision that was made that led to the business having to be sold, was not of my making. That story blocked me from understanding my own failing which is to tell and not ask questions, a much more powerful to influence.

I was in a leadership workshop and Lisa Vos the facilitator from Bendelta asked us to respond to how we felt about a workshop we had completed. She was listening for I feel XXXX. She explicitly asked for us not to tell stories, as this allows us to justify our response and she was not interested in that. I pondered on her request and then observed the groups responses, as soon as someone started with a story I could hear the difference. This was a profound moment as I like to tell stories all the time and realise that we cannot be vulnerable whilst we are in self justification mode of story telling.

What stories do you tell yourself to make you feel better about a situation?

How long have you been telling them to yourself and others?

What is the real reflection from the situation?

What are you going to say you learnt from the situation?

When you next feel something say I feel instead of telling a story that justifies your behaviour.