Power and Influence's Role in Communication to Be Addressed at International Conference Workshop

Article excerpt

As a business communicator, you have the ideas, you have the talent and you have the vision of what needs to be accomplished. So what does it take to turn your visions into reality, especially within the organizational confines that most of us in IABC work?

What it takes is power and influence, according to Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D., whose upcoming interactive workshop for the 1996 international conference is sure to be one of the most important programs of the three-and-one-half-day event. Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II professor of organizational behavior in the graduate school of business at Stanford University and its director of executive education.

"Power is the ability to get things done against opposition," he says. "Power is the potential, and influence is power in use."

In his best-selling book, "Managing with Power," Pfeffer further explained that "being personally effective requires at least two things: Knowing how to get things done and being willing to do them."

Pfeffer's Senior Communicators Forum for the international conference will provide insight into ways to use power to accomplish goals. The workshop, titled "Power, Influence and Implementation," will be presented as a three-hour session to be held on June 16, 1996 at the IABC international conference, "Influence the Future," in Dallas, Texas.

This pre-conference extra-fee session is limited to the first 150 people who register for it. To qualify, you must have at least 15 years of business experience and hold a position requiring regular counsel to senior management.

The workshop will present three learning objectives: Increasing people's comfort level with power and influence; increasing their conceptual skill in understanding when and why power is used, sources of power, how to diagnose the distribution of influence and point of view on issues, and the strategies and tactics by which influence is exercised; and increasing clinical skills through the use of video case materials.

Pfeffer started his research into the field of power and influence approximately 20 years ago, and is possibly the only influential thinker in the field of power and influence.

Pfeffer says, "When I first realized that you could pick up a book on management and, in the index, when you looked up power, you would find nothing. It was a neglected subject in organizational behavior and management."

That neglect led Pfeffer to call power "the organization's last dirty secret," even though "developing power and influence skills is critical for effectively implementing change in organizations. …