“When you know that you can crack a problem not by changing the problem but by changing the way you approach it, that’s influence.”

“When you know that you can crack a problem not by changing the problem but by changing the way you approach it, that’s influence.”

Eye for detail and keeping the design DNA are the first priorities in this successful mobility company: Bugaboo. Ever since Bugaboo began in 1994, they’ve taken pride in dreaming up game-changing products that help people to explore the world around them in unparalleled comfort and unmistakable style. Developing new products involves many levels and people and sometimes interests can clash. Bugaboo’s project managers experienced it’s sometimes difficult to have a direct impact on moving things forward. Even after a decision was made. The Personal Influence Program® gave them new handles to steer things in the desired direction. 

[row][col]According to Antonio Vizzino, one of Bugaboo’s project managers, the complexity of the organization is growing. Developing new products involves many people with different functions who work on different projects, or even those who are in different phases of different projects. “As a group of project managers we looked into growing within the company and to facilitate the company into sort of lubricating the mechanism of the innovation.”

The project managers asked themselves: what is the best thing to do to help ourselves in the organization? “Personal influence comes from that reflection. As a project manager, in some situations we don’t have the authority to make decisions or we cannot directly steer things in certain directions, but we can influence others, to move forward ” says Antonio.

  • Personal Influence Program®
  • 2016
  • 2 training periods of 3 consecutive days
  • 7 participants
  • English
  • Special Influence Skills

Team building

To develop their Influence skills, the project management team followed the in-company training Personal Influence Program® at Bureau Zuidema. The programme being based on behaviour and the fact that it starts at your personal behaviour, that was important to Antonio. “I really believe that the long journey also starts inside yourself. The fact that the Personal Influence Program® focused on your behaviour, giving structure to the possibility to have different perspectives on the situations, was really interesting.”

In addition, the fact that the team could follow the same training and learn the same methodology, vocabulary and reference to certain names was a big plus. “We realised that we were a group of people and we decided together to become a team. The training was part of our strategy”, says Antonio. “Now in a way, we are all one big family. We feel supported by each other.”

The eye opener

The project managers are involved in all parts of the company. They’re busy. Before the team enrolled into the Personal Influence Program®, they even made a deal: if any of them was to experience a moment when they would feel that this training was not going to meet their expectations, they would raise their hands or even leave the training.

Prior to the training, Antonio’s expectations were very high. After the good experience during the Personal Influence Program® he felt like his expectations were met. “I had quite some trainings on soft skills and influence in my career. But this one made me really think quite deeply about behaviours and the way to apply the Influence Model®.”

Antonio and his team enjoyed the balanced content during the training. Especially when carrying out the practical cases it became interesting for them. “That is where we found a bit of resistance in the beginning. We felt that the cases were not real and too simple. The trainer was great in still persuading us to keep on doing the assignments and that was, in the end, very successful. It made clear to us that knowing one behaviour or part of it, is not enough. You got to be able to be the dynamic, the change, the switch of perspective. It all build up all together to the end of the training.”

The effects of influence

Antonio is still using the Influence Model® as learned during the Personal Influence Program®. It gives him the possibility to use a more structured way of building a strategy around a difficult meeting, decision making or kick-off. ”You can always make analyses of what is the best approach. I think we all more or less do that, but for me the training gave me the possibility to structure towards a more aware and clear way”.

He admits that some things he learned during the programme have faded to the background. It’s already a year ago the team took the training. Together with the manager of the team he is looking for a way to bring the behaviour taught back to the foreground. “We found it useful and powerful. We were thinking maybe we should get a recap once a year or something that keeps stimulating us to keep on thinking about it.”

Change the perspective

Antonio feels like the team well succeeded in becoming more relevant and acknowledged to be an important part of the company also thanks to attending together the Personal Influence Programme. The team of project managers knows that they can bring  a  greater influence to the work floor than before. The most important lesson they learned? In the end, it all comes back to their selves.  “What we all did was not to change the other person, or the case or the situation, but to change our perspective on how to approach that. And that’s really powerful. We can do so much if we only change our perspective”. Throughout the programme they all became much more aware of this.

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