Best practices for influencers

Influencers are well-connected employees in your organization who help facilitate broad information sharing. They play an important role in driving successful cross-organizational initiatives. Using influencers to share information can help break down organizational silos and accelerate the execution of growth-focused projects.

Why it matters

Measuring your employees’ invisible forms of influence explains that "traditional organizational reporting structures limit managers’ visibility into how their employees are influencing and contributing to other teams. New workplace metrics are needed to help leaders get a more complete picture of this."

Accelerate! How innovative companies can use a strategy network to capitalize on challenges explains the positive effect of influencers and that:

  • "To move faster and further, you need to pull more people than ever before into the strategic change game, but in a way that is economically realistic."
  • “Today companies must constantly seek competitive advantage without disrupting daily operations."
  • "Strategy should be viewed as a dynamic force that constantly seeks opportunities, identifies initiatives that will capitalize on them, and completes those initiatives swiftly and efficiently."
  • "The game is all about vision, opportunity, agility, inspired action, and celebration – not budget reviews, reporting relationships, and compensation."

Best practices

  • Use Insights and the Stay connected page to see connections, top collaborators, and suggestions on how to improve connections.
  • Use Microsoft Teams channels for cross-functional team collaboration and to drive conversations.
  • Broaden measures used to identify leaders to include those that assess potential, such as influence ranking.
  • Use influencer groups or teams to help spread important information related to strategic or cultural change initiatives.

Change strategies

Identify and use influencer teams

Utilize Viva Insights to identify influencer groups or teams and use their network to share ideas, knowledge, and habits. The following are some ways to do so:

  • Use influencer groups to quickly spread information across the organization.
  • Identify projects that highlight the importance of influencers and use them as examples of how influencers can be used to quickly connect disparate teams.
  • Ask the influencers to share a similar message and to encourage their colleagues to connect with someone new.

See The network secrets of great change agents for more ideas.

Consider groups with high potential, not just top performers

Attributes that have contributed to past success may not predict future success. Broaden measures used to identify leaders to include those that assess potential, such as influence ranking.

Recruit influencers for leadership programs

Leadership programs typically include people on traditional paths. Consider adding influencers for leadership programs. Ways to do this:

  • Identify influencers who have the potential to become great leaders.
  • Develop a leadership program that is created by those who are currently successful leaders in the company.
  • Share the training material even with those who are not chosen, offering an opportunity for them to begin adopting the behaviors of leaders in the pursuit of further career development.

Viva Insights best practices