Every organisation is comfortable with the challenge of how to gain influence for its products and services. Organizations therefore engage in perception building through corporate activities, branding, rebranding of products/services and corporate positioning. Influence management deals with the power to act and capacity to impel or sway action in a preconceived way and direction in others.
Generally, influence management encompasses the capacity or capability of persons to compel, force and produce effect or results in premeditated and planned actions, behaviours or opinions in others. Influence may be direct or indirect, internal or external, controllable or uncontrollable and could be tangible. While power can be defined as the capacity to cause change, influence is the degree of actual change in attitudes, beliefs, values or behavior of the target person.
In organizations, what leaders require to get their job done by subordinates is a tactful skill of influence. Getting the job done is no longer a matter of hierarchy or seniority. It is based on a perception and on the principle of “something for something” built on an exchange protocol. Influence usually incorporates persuasions, pleading, appeal or ingratiation and /or inherent benefit enough to motivate the person.
Influence can also be promoted when one of the parties occupies a higher office, has authority to punish and reward, is richer or has better social standing and holds a currency respected by all others.