The game of power, politics in the organizations

I remember from my art and culture class my professor once told us that all interactions between people are basically a game of power, and politics is the raw demonstration of it.

Politics is the way, us people, organize our selves and decide how to do stuff thanks to debate and discussions:

the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power

Google dictionary
Office Politics

As we can see, the definition is not that pretty, but everyone knows politics are not easy. Usually (at least myself), we tried to avoid politics. But sometimes it is impossible to avoid them, everyone has experience politics in some other way, and many of us have experienced them in the industry in our own works.

And I write all these because our good friend Mr. T. in chapter 11 faces his first problems with politics in the organization. Bill Gates the good leader of Morovia went to America for business reasons and let in charge another guy called Belok. This guy decided to start playing the game of politics and asked Mr. T. to deliver in less time than what he expected to have for the projects.

Company Politics
This is how Belok decided to change the deadline of the project

Mr. T’s dream team defined this interaction as “Pathological politics,” and this can crop up anywhere, even the healthiest organization.

The defining characteristic of pathological politics is that goals of personal power and influence come to override the natural goals of an organization.

The deadline

Forbes wrote an article about this, were they offered five tips to help with politics (from Kathleen Reardon, a professor from USC Business School):

  • Understand who you are: This relates to understanding what our political style is and how it relates to the one of the company if they differ too much it may be difficult for us at the end.
  • Understand how your organization works: Basically, understand the politics of the organization.
  • Learn from the best: Look for a mentor, even indirectly, someone who you can learn from (maybe just by observing from the other side of the room), someone who can teach you how to navigate the politics of the organization.
  • Focus on what matters: try to give your best on everything you do, but take into consideration that some tasks may be more critical for your organization than you may think, so try to understand what it really matters.
  • Who needs to know about what you’re doing: basically is being social, don’t keep your work just for yourself and your direct line of command, talk to your coworkers about your work, it may be a good thing in the future.

One funny thing about all this is that while I was researching this topic, I found an article from 1970. And it’s funny how a lot of stuff about this hasn’t changed that much, like a lot of people, say that millennials and gen Z are changing the workspace, but at the end of the day politics is politics and that doesn’t change through time.

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