Crucial Skills®

A Blog by Crucial Learning

Trainer Insights

Driving Results with Crucial Influence

Our most successful clients are those who start by getting clear on the results they want, identify the behaviors that will generate those results, and then employ crucial skills to change behavior and bring about those results. We refer to this as B–>R, or behavior to results.

The Crucial Influence Model is the most effective method I’ve used in my career for solving organizational challenges. It helps leaders diagnose why a team or organization is struggling and bring about the behavior changes that will drive the desired results.

This model will help you support business success, improve leadership development, and partner with leaders to design solutions that produce results. Here’s how.

The Crucial Influence Model gives you the two things every effective leader needs: First, it shows you how the world works. Second, it shows you how to change the world.

To understand how the world works, you view the model from left to right. On the left you see “Six Sources of Influence.” These are the personal, social, and structural influences that affect motivation and ability.

Moving to the right, you see “Vital Behaviors” and “Results.” Vital behaviors are those that disproportionately affect results. The sources of influence shape our choices and behavior, and our behavior then produces our results. Influence, behavior, results. This is how our world works.

Once you know how the world works, you have the power to change it. The way you change the world using this model is to start at the right and move to the left.

Start with Results. Get clear on the results you want to see and how you will measure progress.

Identify Vital Behaviors. Identify a few behaviors that will have greatest impact on the results you seek.

Use the Six Sources of Influence. First, use the six sources to diagnose what’s causing current behavior and determine how you can remove any sources contributing. Then, determine how you will use all six sources to support the new, desired behavior. Our research suggests that leaders who employ four or more sources of influence are ten times more effective at changing behavior than those who use just one.

Let’s take a closer look at the Six Sources of Influence.

Six Sources of Influence

The six-source model addresses motivation and ability across three dimensions—personal, social, and structural—and equips you to design an influence strategy to support lasting change. The personal dimension includes values, beliefs, and skills that motivate and enable. The social dimension refers to people and how they motivate and enable. And the structural dimension refers to nonhuman influences, like reward systems, processes, and surroundings.

This model has helped leaders in the public and private sector solve challenges relating to employee engagement, customer experience, quality, cost, delivery, health, and safety.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with many of our trainers who are certified in Crucial Influence. What I’ve learned is that the model isn’t simply taught, it’s lived. When implemented, the Crucial Influence Model transforms how work gets done and enhances the success of every program and initiative. Crucial Influence certified trainers use the framework in their role as internal consultants as a basis for learning design, project planning, culture change, continuous improvement, and more.

I recently spoke with one of our certified trainers, Dr. Kevin Munson, who said Crucial Influence is his go-to framework to achieve behavior change at scale. Kevin is trained as a behavioral scientist and currently works as a talent and organizational development leader with Glen Raven, a global leader in the textile industry (makers of Sunbrella). He’s fluent in performance consulting, Lean/Six Sigma, Crucial Influence, and other improvement methods.

Kevin said Crucial Influence equips him to work backward from desired results and measures to determine vital behaviors, identify gaps, determine causes, and then craft influence strategies that will deliver desired behavior and results.

Kevin’s tip for fellow certified trainers is to encourage leaders to think outside their functional area and not get stuck on their favorite influence strategies. For example, Kevin has noticed that sales leaders often resort to using Source 5 approaches, such as incentives and spiffs. Operations leaders often rely heavily on Source 2, such as retraining people to reduce human errors. And marketing leaders often default to Source 1 influence strategies. But the key is to overwhelm the challenge by employing multiple sources of influence, creating a scenario in which people can’t help but do the behaviors that lead to desired business outcomes.

If your team or organization needs help doing this, we now offer Crucial Consulting. We help organizations apply the Crucial Influence Model to accelerate behavior change and get better results. If you and your team would like to learn more about how to implement the Crucial Influence Model, we can help. If you have an internal client who has completed the Crucial Influence course and would benefit from having a partner to solve their challenge, we can help. Or, if you are dealing with a persistent behavior challenge that is impacting your organization’s success, we can help. We have over three decades of broad experience helping clients solve for their most vexing problems.

If you want to learn more about Crucial Consulting, please contact me or connect with your senior client advisor. And if you have a Crucial Influence story, I’d love to hear it!

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