Getting it past the partners – All about buy in

Posted on: June 25, 2012

Having test run this new training session earlier in the year at a City law firm, I am pleased to report that its first public outing last week was deemed a success – with positive comments from the assistants, managers and partner who attended. Some of the feedback comments included:

“A lot of information covered in such a short period of time”

“Interesting to see such a vast level of people attend”

“As always, a well thought out, planned and presented workshop”

“Great session – really enjoyed the final group project”

“Great programme – good chance to think specifically”

“Overall, very good. Loved all the models and theories – lots of reading and references”

Several people commented that we should extend the session from half day to a full day – but then we know from experience that there are problems getting people to find a whole day in their schedules so it’s tricky. 

Challenges

The range of challenges that delegates had bought to the session were varied and included:

  • Managing different sector teams
  • Keeping to timescales on procedures and processes
  • Promoting team cohesion
  • Losing momentum and enthusiasm on longer projects
  • Establishing and embedding global and European targets
  • Managing global client accounts
  • Encouraging fee-earners to share information
  • Ideas not being implemented
  • Internal communications and the promotion of cross selling
  • Managing multiple and many stakeholders
  • Rolling out new technology projects

The 7P model

I have been developing a toolbox of methods, techniques and best practice on buy in (see diagram below) for several years – drawing on material from two decades practice in psychology, selling, communications and change management and this formed the structure and content of the session. Although we didn’t have time to go through everything in detail:

  • People
  • Psychology
  • Process & Precision
  • Plan
  • Persuasion
  • Pressure
  • Patience

Takeaways

The key takeaways for the delegates were as follows:

  • Reassuring that other law, accountancy and property firms face the same challenges
  • The need to think more and plan to achieve buy in (the impact- influence matrix was found to be particularly helpful in segmenting internal audiences)
  • The need to listen more and align aims
  • Stepping back and selecting the best strategies depending on the circumstances
  • Breaking the problem down and reframing it if necessary
  • The vast range of tools for communicating
  • The need to develop internal communications plans
  • Tools to help assess partner priorities, attitudes and values
  • Tailoring strategies to individual partners (the partner types matrix was found really useful here)
  • Models, ideas and practice at selecting and applying different techniques
  • Adopting a visual model to problem solving
  • Different persuasion techniques
  • “Catch them young” – internal communications and training programmes
  • The 7P model

From my perspective, the increasing impact of multicultural communication was apparent and I shall look into researching and sourcing materials for this – possibly for a dedicated course if there is sufficient demand.

Future dates for Buy In courses – and details of all other courses – including next week’s “Managing Change and Leadership” are available from http://www.pmforum.co.uk/training/index.aspx

I’d like to add a personal “Thank you” to Linklaters for hosting the event. I was so impressed with the branded flip chart paper and the “drawer of wonders” in their client space suite!

 

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