Get the big guys (or ladies) off the fence!

picture by Jim Hejl

When trying to push for (any kind of) change, I always thought it’s most important to figure out who the powerful actors are who play against you and do something about them.

Funny, the more I analyze situations like that with people who want to make a difference, the more I realize: It’s the big guys (and ladies) on the fence, that you should be most concerned about. While there might be some big antagonists in these games, it’s often startling to realize that most people are not even aware of the issue you are passionate about. And, most likely, that also holds true for the people who really could make change happen because of their position and power.

So when drawing a strategic NetMap and putting smileys, negative and neutral faces next to your actors according to whether or not they support your goals, have a very close look at the neutrals – by their lack of interest, they may well be the ones who slow down any of your activities. But even more importantly: They are not against your goal. So it’s much easier to win them over than to do anything about your antagonists. And together your converted neutrals and your old friends might be a big enough coalition, that you don’t even have to worry about the die-hard “anti-the-good-cause” guys any more.

2 Responses

  1. Very insightful post Eva, thanks!

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