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Influencing others in an organization without having any authority.

Influence Without Authority

Influence Without Authority

by Allan R. Cohen, David L. Bradford

As product managers, we’ve all experienced it: a sense of frustration when you’re accountable for delivering value without having any authority over the people that are critical to delivering that value. Whether it’s stakeholders, customers, developers, designers, there’s only so much we can do t...

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The IWA Model

The IWA model outlines the concept of Influence without Authority.

It highlights the key components: 

  • The currencies of exchange – The aforementioned IWA model is based on exchange and reciprocity – making trades for what you desire in return for what the other p...

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  • Inspiration related currencies like vision, moral or ethical correctness and the need for excellence.
  • Task-related currencies like certain give and take of resources, challenges and assistance. It can also mean organisational support, rapid response ...

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Gratitude – While gratitude may be another form of recognition or support, it is not necessarily a job-related one that can be valued highly by some people who make a point of being helpful to others.

Ownership/Involvement – The chance that they feel that ...

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Currencies are what people value. But it is also possible to think of negative currencies, things that people do not value and wish to avoid:

  • Not giving recognition
  • Not offering support
  • Not providing challenge
  • Threatening to quit the situation
  • Raising vo...

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  • What are your primary goals?
  • What personal factors get in the way?
  • Be flexible about achieving goals.
  • Adjust expectations of your role and your ally’s role.

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Centrality of the ally – How powerful is the other person? What resources does he or she control? How exclusive is the person’s control of those resources? How dependent are you on that person for success?

Amount of effort/credits needed – Do you already ha...

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