Influencing Processes


“I saw the sun break through the clouds which were careering quickly across the sky. The landscape below was very much shaped by man. The beach has been covered with jutting rocks to act as wave breakers. The sea wall has been strengthened. But the processes of the tide, and heat of the sun, even the weather, these process are out- side our influence. And though the sea defences are within the influence of people, they are outside my own personal influence.”

In the business world it can be a useful tool when looking at processes to look at those processes or parts of process that are:

Within our sphere of influence

Partially within and partially outside our sphere of influence

Outside our sphere of influence


This can help us to focus our efforts on that we can influence.

It may be that, in the future, mankind will develop technology to enable him  to influence even the weather or the tides. However, at the moment these  things are outside our influence. Sour, our innovations in the processes of  building sea defences have to work with the sea and its tides as a ‘given’.

Case Example

Influencing processes in a hotel

“I work as a receptionist at a three star hotel.

“The processes of how I greet customers and give them information are within my sphere of influence. I can
change the way I deal with different types of customer and different customer needs.

The way I process their bills and payments I partially within my control – I can schedule the work to some extent
and also make different suggestions on how they should pay.

”However, the actually processes and methods of payment are outside of my control. But partial control also
comes from my membership of the quality improvement team where we can all input to improving our basic

“The actual processes of checking in and checking out, the collecting of credit card details or processing
cheques or cash, these processes are outside of my control.

“So, I tend to focus on making suggestions at the quality improvement team. For example, I suggested that
we could simplify the guest registration form.

There’s a lot of duplication of information. Also I do make changes to the way I greet customers. You should
vary the way you do it depending on their needs and also the mood they are in!”


List the processes in your job role that are

1. Within your sphere of influence

2. Partially within and partially outside your sphere of influence

3. Outside your sphere of influence.

List the processes in your job role that are

1. Processes in my job that are within my sphere of influence

2. Processes in my job that are partially within and partially outside my sphere of influence

3. Processes in my job that are outside my sphere of influence.

Here are some examples:

1. I can choose my work schedule for the day

2. I can select some software to buy, but some packages are standard across the organisation

3. I am not empowered to select who we buy our stationery from

Process Influence is an important and often realistic way of looking at processes.


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