Webinar Recording: Influencing without Authority: developing organisational intelligence with Sarah Coleman

In this BA Community webinar, we were joined by Sarah Coleman of Business Evolution, who  discussing the thorny issue of influencing without authority, which is extremely relevant to the BA world.  Sarah’s session was entitled

Influencing without Authority: Developing Organisational Intelligence

The webinar was recorded and can be viewed below.


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Webinar Description

As business analysts, project managers and transformation professionals we depend on the cooperation and collaboration with teams across our organization, our client, the extended supply chain and others for success.  We need to be able to work confidently outside our formal areas of authority, to build high-performing matrix and virtual teams, to move easily across functional areas and geographies, and to build influence and support at all levels of the organization from the C-suite to operational levels.  How can you work effectively under such circumstances to get things done either for yourself, in order to meet expectations and deadlines, or for your team?

Those softer skill sets of influencing and understanding organisational networks can help us work more effectively, identifying key individuals and power bases.  Stakeholder engagement tells us to find those influencers who can support our work and actively help move it forward, and to identify those who have a different agenda and can block us.  But how can we build this picture, and how can we build our own influence and power to support the work we do?

During this webinar, Sarah Coleman will draw from her own experience of business analysis, projects and transformation to introduce the concept of being “organizationally intelligent”.   She will introduce some tools and techniques to help you understand:

  • How to remap your organization to make sense of the power bases, politics, networks and relationships
  • How to increase your influence and support without the benefit of formalized authority in the organization.

About the Speaker

Sarah Coleman works with cross-sector multi-nationals, government and NGOs in the UK and internationally helping them improve the performance of their projects, programmes and transformation.  She started her career in ICT, working across a range of industry sectors and developing a strong systems perspective.  She has worked with the NHS, Judge Business School, COLT, Grant Thornton, Pera, Experian, Rolls Royce and BT among many others and established Business Evolution Ltd in 2007. Clients value her commercial perspective, strategic focus and her ability to challenge positively and constructively.

Sarah recognizes and champions the impact and importance of behavioural sciences as part of projects, programmes, portfolios and change.  She has seen the way critical organizational initiatives flounder because those responsible for designing, planning and delivering haven’t seen the bigger picture, or recognised when they themselves were the target of politics or power plays.  She is particularly passionate about the need to comfortably influence without authority, moving easily around the organization between the C-suite and operational levels as well as across client and supplier organisations. This is a skill and part of the toolkit which every professional needs in order to be that much more effective.

Sarah is a Fellow and former non-Executive Director of the Association for Project Management, a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University and a Transformation Associate, SME and High Risk Reviewer with the IPA, Cabinet Office.  She is a published author (“Project Leadership”, Gower 2015; “Organizational Change Explained”, Kogan Page 2017; contributed the chapter “Dealing with Power and Politics” to “Business Analysis and Leadership: Influencing Change”, Kogan Page 2013), and experienced developer, coach and conference speaker.