Influence is a powerful tool that can impact the opinions and beliefs of others. It is how elections are won and new ideas are spread. Stop and think about your current profession. When was the last time someone influenced you?
Was it for the good?
When I think about my profession in education and the disruptive innovation plan I am putting into motion, one word always comes back around: change. Change is hard for most people, especially those who have a firm mindset that what they are currently doing is the best way. What can help change these people's mindset? How can they be influenced to view things differently?
I have spent the past few weeks learning about the power of influence and how it can be used to promote change within an organization. The first thing you need to do when you want to influence change is decide what your desired results will be. My goal is to create and implement successful makerspaces on each campus across my district by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. With my end results in mind, I created my vital behaviors which are actions that will lead to the desired results. It is important to keep in mind how these behaviors will be measured and who the organizational influencers are.
Last year I appealed to our superintendent and school board regarding makerspaces and was able to influence them to agree to roll out makerspaces to all campuses - but I know that creating, implementing and maintaining a makerspace is much more than just throwing some gadgets on a table. It involves a certain mindset that must constantly be cultivated, growing, while actively seeking change and new ideas. I don't want to just have makerspaces at each campus - I want to have thriving and successful makerspaces at each campus.
This is a tremendous goal that involves more than just me. It involves the support of my fellow Innovative Learning Specialists
(ILS) to desire to design, oversee and manage makerspaces on their own campuses as well as their campus administration to enforce and support their ILS. These individuals act as my major organizational influencers. Their buy-in is crucial for the success of their makerspace on their campus and my success in reaching my desired result. They are the ones who will ultimately be in control of how successful their makerspace is, and if they don't believe in the maker movement, their space will fail. It is vital that I am able to completely influence their opinions and provide them the opportunities to grow the "maker mindset" they will need to design and implement their space.
I am using the "Influencer Strategies" to influence my organization by targeting both motivation and ability at the personal, social, and structural level to change vital behaviors and achieve my desired result. I decided to approach the influencer chart from the perspective of an ILS looking at their own school. It is my plan to present these strategies to my fellow Innovative Learning Specialists so they can understand the power of influence and use these strategies with their own staff and students.
*Click on images to enlarge.
Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013).
Influencer: The new science of leading change. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.