Thursday, 5 June 2014

Choosing influence that can scale up.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero:

Choosing influence that can scale up.

The second discipline of Viral Change™ is influencing. However, this is not about just any kind of influence, it’s about ‘scalable’ influence. Or in other words, it’s about how to create a fast buildup of the social infection. There is a new ‘industry of influence’ that promises to teach tricks and shortcuts, sometimes with poor or no scientific basis. It tends to be thrown in the same basket as ‘motivating people’ or ‘inspiring them’. ‘How to influence people’ often appears in ‘training packages’ that promise to teach you skills in achieving goals, managing your own boss, getting a raise or simply being in control. Becoming an ‘influencer’ now seems to be part of the expected portfolio of politically accepted goals.

Very often, influencing gets trivialized and reduced to the ‘tools’ and ‘how to’. Often it’s limited to listing vague requisites which would work equally well for ‘being a good manager’ as for ‘navigating through life’. In those ‘packages’, people are asked to ‘change their minds’ or their ‘mindset’ (remember, that thing I still can’t find?). They make it sound as logical and easy as changing the oil in your car. Or they are asked to ‘request and clarify responsibilities and reward appropriately’. It’s hardly something to disagree with, but it makes you wonder why the othe\thousand things you could do to be an influencer are not listed.

In chapter 4.2, I’ll share which aspects of influence are relevant for social infections and which ones are good for nice conversations and bullet points in training programmes.

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