Start by making a list of the key challenges that you need or want to influence within your work or perhaps with your business partners. Likely candidates for this list include…
- Projects you are responsible for either delivering or sponsoring
- Disputes within your peer group
- New product ideas that you want to gain support for
- Units which are embattled and consensus over action is lacking
- Projects that have stalled or are in crisis
- Strategic change plans that have not yet reached implementation stage
- Structural changes that are being contemplated
Consider the following questions/statements to get more ideas…
- What one thing, if you could influence, would transform the results you achieve?
- What could you influence to remove all or most of the problems you face?
- “If only my line manager would…”
- “If I were the CEO, I’d…”
Review your ideas and select the three most important Influencing Goals to work on. Specify them as well as you can, perhaps using SMART as a guide (check out Wikipedia to learn about how to use SMART)..
Finally, test them out with some friends to see what they think. Are they important? Are they well specified? Will it be obvious when you have achieved your goal?
Once you’ve finalised your goals, you can now start using them as the focus for the Stakeholder Influence Process (the exercise on pressure testing your goals will help you to further challenge your thinking).