There is more politics in business than there is business in politics. It is hard to tell what came first, but in both areas you need supporters for you plans.
In the case of a business – a somewhat larger firm – you’ll often encounter different groups (parties), different opinions and every now an then there is this new idea. Now, the challenge for this organization consists of getting this new idea into practice. The situation is not quite like this; normally there are many ideas and the different groups value each idea in a certain way.
To tackle this issue, the initiator of the idea requires a majority of support before it will be executed. The question is where should he or she start? One approach could be to collect support in the easy way. This is done by starting with the people -– managers, specialist, etc -– who you think are most likely to accept the idea. Doing so, your will find yourself surrounded with a “significant” community and with this growing support you energize yourself to confront the group of people of which you think that they are less easy to convince. When you or others of your support group engage others in the discussion, you are able to refer to a large community that is already convinced.
But then. There is always someone who will question not the number of supporters, but who will check whether “John”, “Paul” or “George” is already part of the group. If not, he will not join either.
The other approach start from the opposite side – without losing the opportunity to invite the “easy” members on the way. In this approach, you start with the most difficult group or with ... the leaders. If you know they will join you, the rest shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
In fact this is the same approach you should follow when managing a project. Focus on the risks first and leave the easy part for the end ...
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account
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