Influence Playbook

Chess game

How can Business Process Owners (BPOs) be held accountable for process performance when they have few resources and no power? In most cases they have nothing but a title and their own best intentions. It's the BPO’s Dilemma – influence without authority. And it’s a major problem for process leaders and professionals of all types.

The key to success is no secret: Great process owners must be world-class influencers. Even if they are already capable, the best dedicate themselves to honing their skills and striving for mastery. While some believe one is born with influence skills, most recognize the contribution of experience and discipline. Here are a few proven influence strategies:

  1. Promote the power of process: Continually remind people of doing things right to get end-to-end flow, operational excellence, and great customer experience
  2. Set a process agenda: Determine your goal, strategy, and initiatives by targeting the best opportunities and engaging stakeholders early
  3. Speak up for the process: In every message, meeting, position you fill, and decision you make, advocate process as the antidote to fragmentation
  4. Mobilize allies: Raise awareness and build support among forward-looking decision makers, opinion leaders, and front-line teams; if you get the 20% early adopters onboard, the rest of the organization will follow
  5. Tell the truth about today: Identify appropriate measures – both outcomes and leading indicators – and build the dashboard into everyday management
  6. Take on meaningful problems: Make it a habit to walk around looking for opportunities. Ask questions and seek faster, cheaper, better approaches.
  7. Deliver solutions that make a difference: Be accountable. Find disconnects and performance gaps. Solve a few critical problems. Do it every quarter

The following set of tools, based on these strategies, is designed for an end-of-year review to highlight BPO use of these strategies and address the following questions:

Influence 360:

How frequently and effectively did I use each strategy last year?

Influence Strategies in Use:

What strategy worked best for me in specific situations?

Influence Plan:

What will I do differently next year to increase my influence?

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Influence 360

Purpose: Increase your influence in the coming year based on stakeholder feedback regarding how effectively you used each of the 7 Influence Strategies.

Method: Use the tool below to reflect on the influence strategies you used in the past year and how you might use them more frequently and effectively next year.

A. Rate yourself and get stakeholder ratings on your use of each strategy

B. Record examples of strategies in use, including situation and outcomes

C. Use the results of A and B to outline an Influence Plan for the next 12 months

Rating Scale: 1 = Once in a while, 2 = Occasionally, 3 = Frequently, 4 = Almost always

mean score table


Situational Influence

Directions: Record examples of strategies you’ve used in the past 12 months, describing the situations in which you used them and the outcomes you observed in each case.



Influence Plan

Do More: For each strategy identify actions you will take more frequently
Do Less: Identify actions you will take less frequently
Change: Describe changes you will make: e.g. different content, focus, style, and situations

influence playbook

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