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How to 10×your influence: use four or more sources to exponentially increase your influence

Joseph Grenny (Cofounder at VitalSmarts, Provo, Utah, USA)
Richard Pound (Business Development Director at Grahame Robb Associates, Winchester, UK)

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 23 March 2010




The researchers at VitalSmarts have combined more than thirty years of their original research with the best social science research from the past five decades to develop a model for creating sustainable behavior change in individuals, teams, organizations, and nations. This article presents their findings which show that people who engage in a multi‐faceted change management strategy are up to ten times more successful at solving persistent and profound problems by creating rapid and sustainable behavior change.


The research presented in this article is composed of three studies. In the first study, VitalSmarts researchers interviewed 25 C‐level leaders regarding their most persistent challenges including bureaucratic infighting, silo thinking, and lack of accountability. The second study focused on the most common problems that occurred during 100 mission‐critical initiatives ‐ efforts such as internal restructurings, quality and productivity improvement initiatives, and new product launches. In the third study, researchers surveyed more than 1,000 individuals about personal habits they struggled to change ‐ habits such as unhealthy eating, insufficient exercise, smoking, and drinking.


Researchers found that influencers succeed where others fail because they know persistent problems and people's resistance to change are rarely fed by a single cause; rather, they are fed by a conspiracy of causes. Instead of looking for the minimum it will take to accomplish change, influencers combine a critical mass of different kinds of influence strategies ‐ as a result they are ten times more successful at securing sustainable behavior change.


Those who use four or more sources of influence in combination are ten times more likely to succeed in creating change than those who rely on a single source of influence.



Grenny, J. and Pound, R. (2010), "How to 10×your influence: use four or more sources to exponentially increase your influence", Strategic Direction, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 3-6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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