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How Coalitions Increase Your Power to Influence Outcomes

"You win by working hard, making tough decisions, and building coalitions."

-John Engler

The power of building coalitions to influence outcomes is evident from the smallest social unit; we see parents strengthening their case on a position each time they tell the child "We spoke and agreed".

If you are an industry leader or organization struggling to influence outcomes, it may be because your perceived power to shape the course of events is little. Forming and leveraging coalitions can increase your perceived power as a player and add weight to your decision-making influence.

Here are five ways coalitions can increase your power to influence.

1. United Identity

The identity of a group gives its members legitimacy.

If you are operating as one organization and sense that it is not enough to influence outcomes, joining an existing coalition, or forming one with those you share values and vision, will give you legitimacy and thus increase your power to influence.

This is why businesses join chambers of commerce and other private sector organizations that represent and promote their common interests.

2. Strength in Numbers

Nature will remind you that loners don't survive. This is true for both prey and predator. This is why they socialize in groups. Human beings are the same.

If you think your position as an individual or organization, is weak, you can increase your power by forming a coalition.

This could be joining others more powerful than you, or those of varying degrees of power that you can together harness to generate even greater power.

3. Group Affect

Put simply, Group Affect refers to how members of a group end up exhibiting homogeneous reactions.

By virtue of being in the group, you will adopt the norms, culture, behaviors of the group. This affects both individual and group performance, which means in a coalition, you not only increase your perception of power, you actually evolve to become more powerful to influence outcomes.

4. Value Appreciation

4. Value Appreciation

When resources are pooled, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

The value each party could realize individually is exponentially increased in a coalition. This increases both position and resource power, attracting counterparts to want to listen to and collaborate with to access.

5. Dominant Position

As an individual, you may only be able to champion your agenda as far as it is aligned with dominant players.

In a coalition, you can not only increase your power to influence outcomes, but you can also assume the dominant position and even shift the agenda to suit your coalition's interests.

If you are struggling to be seen, heard, or taken seriously as an individual or organization in your industry, form or join a coalition that shares values, vision, and interests to increase your power to influence.

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