Scope of Influence

I define a Scope of Influence as the area for which an individual or organization has direct or indirect influence on. It is important to understand the difference between a Direct and an Indirect Scope of Influence.   When an individual or organization has direct authority or influence over other individuals or organizations through a recognized chain of authority, and that influence is widely recognized and accepted, it is considered to be within that individual or organization’s Direct Scope of Influence. An Indirect Scope of Influence would be where individuals or organizations influence other individuals or organizations that are not directly linked to them through accepted chains of authority. The influence is often more subtle and not easily recognized when looking at the model. Indirect influences can result from organizational mentoring programs, residual loyalties that remain after separation from previous chains of authority, informal
delegation, seniority, etc. Indirect Scopes of Influence often play a critical role in organizations especially during periods of change and realignment, ongoing innovation processes, etc.
It is important to better understand Scopes of Influence and how they are developed. Identifying intersections between individuals that potentially created influence can help determine group compositions, the development of special teams for projects, and can help to improve communications within the organization.
The principle of Scopes of Influence go hand in hand with Focus which I discuss in another section. While it may appear advantageous to have as wide a Scope of Influence as possible, the level of influence or value you can impart through that influence is determined by the amount of focus that can be given or committed. The balance of Scope and Focus is critical in maximizing the effectiveness of individuals and organizations.
A Castle was often built as a physical representation of influence and authority over a specific region or area back in Medieval times. The grander and more physically imposing the Castle, the larger the Scope of Influence was seen to be. Individuals, groups, and organizations are “Castles” in that they carry influence and authority over an area, that influence and authority being delegated by a higher “Castle” or developed through other more indirect means.

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