This Tools for Change briefing deals with the Power-Interest Matrix: an invaluable technique you can use to identify the supporters and detractors of a change effort.

Change is always political…
… so it’s important to know who the supporters, detractors and neutral parties are. This enables you to plan accordingly and prevent the program from being derailed.

Power-Interest matrices help to identify the interests and power bases that must be accounted for to address the issue at hand and whose buy-in should be sought or who should be ‘co-opted’.

A Power-Interest matrix also provides a ‘first pass’ guide to who needs to be influenced in which direction. This sets the scene for what changes the overall program needs to include.

Stacking the deck
A Power-Interest matrix would be used by the steering committee or working group of a change program, typically in a facilitated workshop early in the process, to identify and plan around those people who can impact the change effort.

Failure to do this place can the change program at risk.

However, positioning powerful stakeholders to influence others to favourably promote the program, and neutralising opponents or resistant parties, will stack the deck in favour of the change program’s success.

I’ve prepared a one-page summary of the Power-Interest Matrix, including a worked example; you can download it by clicking here.

Ensuring maximum impact
A Power-Interest Matrix involves some delicate conversations: I recommend that a workshop to develop one be independently facilitated. An experienced facilitator can also incorporate the workshop output into a more comprehensive program for change that sharpens the focus on gaining desirable reputational, operational and budgetary results.

I am available to facilitate workshops incorporating a Power-Interest Matrix and other techniques as appropriate: please contact me on phone 0414 383 374 or by return email.

I will be sending the next Tools for Change briefing, on the Force-Field Analysis, at the end of October.

In the meantime, I hope this briefing assists you with the planning and execution of your change or organisational development initiatives.

Regards, Michael Carman
Director | Michael Carman Consulting
PO Box 686, Petersham NSW 2049 | M: 0414 383 374 | W:

P.S. To hold an initial no-cost discussion on how you can use the Power-Interest Matrix – or other relevant change techniques – to improve your organisation’s performance, please contact me direct on phone 0414 383 374.


© Michael Carman 2010-2012