Influence Without Authority, May 1, 2015

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Do you need others to get things done, but they don’t report to you? That is an increasingly common situation in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and life science industries. The truth is that even when you do have “power”, you are often better off using influence first. The truly effective individual contributors, managers, and executives use influence skills to achieve results, regardless of their positional power within the organization or team structure.  

Attending the Influence Without Authority workshop will provide you with key skills for getting things done whether or not you are in charge. You will improve your ability to manage “up”, get agreement from peers, and motivate reports that will enable you to work more effectively in project and cross-functional teams, collaborations, and matrixed organizations.      

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of why people do (or don’t do) things you want them to do
  • Ability to recognize and employ the three major types of influence
  • Techniques to positively affect the behaviors of others to enable better results at work
  • Skills to recognize and align with the personal goals and motivations of others
  • Ability to get things done even without the title or position in a company  

Topics Covered:  

  • Overview of three major types of influence
  • Recognizing the potential repercussions of using power
  • How to influence, but not manipulate
  • Ways to identify the goals and motivations of others
  • Recognizing and using types of personal influence
  • Importance of being likable, and how to authentically improve in this area through sincere efforts and actions
  • How relationships influence peoples’ choices and behavior
  • Utilizing structural context to influence people to get work accomplished  


This day-long workshop is highly interactive, and involves small-group discussions of case studies from the life science industry, as well as group discussions, short role-playing exercises, and opportunities to gain perspective from and share best practices with other attendees. Participants are given theoretical background and overview of power and influence, as well as practical tools that can be implemented in the work place. Attendees in this workshop will practice identifying types of influence, recognizing the motivations of others, and developing a strategy for influencing others. Participants will receive hard-copy and electronic information, practical tools, tips and techniques to improve their ability to influence.  

Who Should Attend:

  • Project leaders, individual contributors, collaboration participants, and others who want to learn strategies to improve their ability to get things done
  • Leaders and managers who want to gain new strategies for getting those below them to act without having to “command” them
  • Technical experts who want to improve the strategic choices made their organizations
  • Anyone in the life science and technology industries who wants more perspective on this topic. Those in other industries are definitely welcome to attend since the material covered is fundamental, as long as they are open to industry-specific examples and case studies

Seminar Leader:

Gwen Acton, PhD, is the CEO of Vivo Group.  She holds a doctorate in biology from MIT, and specializes in developing leadership and management skills of scientists and engineers.

Benefits to the Individual:

  • Improve your ability to get others to do what you need them to do
  • Get more ideas accepted and successfully implemented
  • Manage your boss and influence company leadership more effectively
  • Improve long-term working relationships with colleagues  

 Benefits to the Organization:

  • Greater effectiveness of individual contributors, managers, and leaders
  • Less conflict and higher morale
  • Better organizational decision-making, due to improved input
  • More positive relationships within and between departments as well as in cross-functional teams

Workshop Takeaway Materials:

  • “Influence Without Authority” Participant Workbook
  • Case study descriptions
  • Recommended reading and resources guide 


  • $695 for MassBio Members
  • $845 for Non-Members
  • $600 for Non-Profits


Friday, May1, 2015
9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Corporate Professional Development


MassBio Offices
300 Technology Square, 8th Floor
Cambridge, MA

Level of Knowledge

Beginner to mid-level