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Friday, December 13, 2013

On Influence

Recently, I was asked to explain my role in terms of the processes I use.  The idea seems almost as oxymoronic as the phrases "creative process", or "innovation process".

For example, what is the process for being influentual?

Looked at properly, as a process that takes some time to execute, it can be explained in part:

  • Associate your self with activities that will be influentual (so that some of that rubs off).  figuring out what activities will be influential includes:
    • guessing (in an informed manner)
    • being lucky,
    • and influencing others to think that it is important by your own behaviors (e.g. implementig, promoting).
  • Take on influential leadership positions, and then do the work associated with them.  Note that many working groups are looking for cochairs and facilitators, and that those positions are basically there for the asking (and doing the work).
  • Try something innovative and succeed (that may involve failing a few times first, try to minimize that, but don't avoid it)
  • Repeat what works and refine it, even if it was unintentional or unplanned (like this blog),
  • Don't expect immediate results, but always strive for them.
Does the process work?  Yes, it does, but following it does not guarantee success.  Sometimes there is just too much working against you to succeed.  In that case, just as in poker, you need to know when to fold 'em, and save your bets (and effort) for where they will be more beneficial.