An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero:
Inside the organization, there are many coexisting types of influence and influentials. Understanding and identifying them is one of the key elements of ‘social intelligence’, a well-needed competence for leaders and managers. Unfortunately, many leaders and managers only have just a vague idea of the richness and variety of influence that surround them, and most don’t know how to
harness this richness or how to treat each of the types differently. The graph on the following page gives some examples of those types.
I tend to ask my clients to attach specific names to the different Post-its. It often starts as a ‘trivial exercise’.
However, very soon they find many ‘aha’-moments and a much welcome understanding of the richness (of influence and therefore possibilities) around them.
Different kinds of influencers may be suited for different aims. In a high-tech R&D organization, for example, top leaders may have a great deal of hierarchical influence, but some of their employees may be stronger than them in scientific or technical authority and influence. For our purposes of scaling up with the aim of cultural and social change in mind, we need to understand which types within our ‘portfolio of influencers’ would be more suited to produce a faster and more robust spread of behaviours – since this is the currency we want to use in world II.
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