Although stating the obvious, it is difficult to focus your energy on influencing groups unless you know which groups are able to have an impact on your Influencing Goal. One approach to identifying the groups is to consider an individual stakeholder and imagine the groups they might be a member of.
For instance, the CFO is obviously a member of:
- The Finance Division.
- The Executive Team.
- Their Professional Body (ICA, ACCA, CIMA, etc.).
Less obvious might be:
- The Board of Directors.
- The Remuneration Committee.
- Project Steering Committees.
- The Talent Pool.
- The IBM Alumni (made up of all who previously worked for IBM).
- The Wharton Club (an annual dinner for those who went to Wharton).
- FLDP (the Finance Leadership Development Programme — as sponsor of this group of highly talented finance professionals).
- The Badminton Club (a diverse group from around the organisation coming together for sport and fun).
The list could go on. The important thing is to try to notice as many groups as you can and then think about the impact they have, or could have, on what you are trying to achieve.
Remember that groups go through a number of stages before they become powerful. Unless they are functioning as a group, they will not be able to exert collective power over your goal. However, be wary of the potential for a group to form quickly. Just because they don’t currently recognise their commonality, it only takes one savvy individual to pull them together and galvanise support against what you are doing.