Implementing change in large organizations requires more than just good ideas - it demands building mass consensus. Savvy design leaders deliberately "build a pack" to sell new visions. There's a never ending list of way to influence, but what's worked for me has been a thoughtful approach to both promoters and detractors across organisations.
- Identify influencers. Map people with sway, both formal and informal, across departments who can champion your cause.
- Socialize 1:1 first. Share your vision with influencers individually first to refine it and gain advocates.
- Make it about shared interests. Frame your idea around outcomes that resonate for multiple groups, not just design.
- Group mentor emerging leaders. Bring promising future managers into your circle to spread the vision with tomorrow's leaders.
- Leverage events and workshops. Use all-hands meetings, conferences, and offsites to broadly share the vision through multiple channels.
- Communicate relentlessly. Repeat the narrative consistently via multiple mediums to achieve saturation.
- Address skeptics respectfully. When facing resistance, thoughtfully consider merits rather than dismissing it.
- Compromise tactically. Make occasional tactical concessions to build goodwill and momentum if it doesn't compromise the core vision.
- Influence formally and informally. Deploy your pack judiciously in both official settings and casual hallway conversations.
- Unify around next actions. Maintain momentum by continually identifying and socializing the next milestone.
Selling change requires mobilizing allies far and wide through respect, patience and social capital. Do the work to build a pack and success with your voice being multiplied in force through your pack.