Blogpost #5: Implementing Change at Different Positions!

From the Power and Influence simulation today, I gained an understanding of the intricacies involved in implementing change among a group. I worked through the scenarios by introducing the idea of sustainability company-wide, and then interviewing employees with lots of connections throughout the group to see how they respond. I then used multiple options that would generate favor, including getting a consultor, forming a coalition with supporters, and telling success stories. I also had to confront some of the resistors, which was sometimes a bit tedious. I think my biggest leadership takeaway from the experience was that focusing on individuals in the ways most beneficial to them is a large part of gaining support. By working separately, people were more likely to take information to heart and also talk about it to the people they’re connected to. I paid a large deal of attention to the relationship network provided and am satisfied with the the results from my choices in that regard. For instance, I built coalition support groups with three people that each had different and various contacts that still needed some convincing to get to the next stage. I used this method often in all the stages of the simulation.

In the future, I’m planning to work more on understanding how my credibility works with my pacing when taking larger steps to my goals. For example, in scenario 4–where I do not have as much power and urgency backing me up–I made it a priority to let someone with more credibility (the CEO) support the initiative first. As more interest was generated, I then jumped in as a leader, but seemed to overstep by announcing deadlines before everyone was prepared for that. Because of my eagerness to get to the meat of the problem, I rushed people who weren’t fully on board and seemed disingenuous.

Before this simulation, my idea was that businesses would rarely ever change their business practices for the better outside of a sense of urgency. However, scenario 1 gave me hope, due to the effectiveness that specific levers gave me in moving the whole group forward. Proactive change being harder to pull off than reactive change as a concept has been really hard for me believe, since I feel like I rarely see it occur in real life. The workings of power, influence, and urgency in conjunction with each other are much more connected than I previously thought. Working with others and influencing the right people through different methods of focus based on established relationships has much more effect, and has definitely helped me understand how these things can affect the support different initiatives have at different levels of urgency.

When comparing and contrasting the decisions I had to make between this simulation and the other two previous simulations, I noticed that this simulation pertained more to how to deal with a topic before there is a crisis and therefore focused on change agents, while the pandemic and glucogauge simulations were dealing with crises after a catastrophe occurred. The first two work on making decisions as a team to move forward to a common goal, while the sunglass simulation focused on getting the whole group to a point where we had a common goal to aim for. From these differences, I can conclude that “crisis management” differs from urgency in that they are on different points of a timeline. Urgency is a precautionary response, like the sunglass company moving to be more sustainable before the environment gets too bad, while crisis management is dealing with the crisis during and after its unfolding, like the entire zombie apocalypse and the inaccurate glucose readings that are shown after they’re released to the public.

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