Organizational Politics and Power are 2 words that often have negative connotations within an organization.
These possibly stem from our belief that they are often misused.
Here is one perspective about politics and power, which all working professionals need to be aware of.
The WHY of organizational politics
Organizations are made up of different work units working towards a common vision and goals aligned to that vision.
There are different programs, projects, initiatives which help a CEO achieve these goals and vision.
Organizations do not have unlimited resources at their disposal and hence the above programs and initiatives will often need to utilize common resources.
A leader needs to prioritize these competing resources before decisions can be made regarding allocations.
How are these decisions made?
The decisions are made by the boss based on the input given to him/her by the next level organization leaders who are involved. The boss also relies on his/her own experience of similar situations in the past and the knowledge that he/she gathers from the macro and micro environment, both within and outside the organization.
Since the programs, projects and initiatives may not all start and progress at the same time (although the larger objectives remain the same), certain decisions may not favor the allocation of resources in certain departments.
When such a decision goes against the priorities and plans of a particular department or a leader, it is natural for a leader or team to feel disappointed because they would then need to re-work their initiatives based on the newly available resources. The communication and change management efforts involved following such a decision is high.
Often, they may feel that a poor decision was made, while the decision maker may have considered various other factors to arrive at the decision for the good of the organization.
Remember, organizations move forward when decisions are made.
A leader, who has the ability to articulate well, influence and make others follow them, is often considered powerful. The seniority or experience of the person may not have much to do with it.
A person who is not aware of these decision-making criteria may often consider such decisions as “political”, thinking one particular leader was favored over another.
Now, what are the lessons for you as a leader or as someone who wants to take up management roles in the future?
1. Spend time understanding the organization’s vision, strategic objectives and goals. 2. Learn what the priorities of organization and various business units are and how they fit in with the larger organization goals. 3. Improve your ability to articulate in such a way as to put your points across without causing offence. 4. Improve your ability to influence and create followers. 5. Improve your decision-making skills. 6. Improve relationships with colleagues across departments, so that it helps you understand what happens in various departments and create more followers for you.
I once had a short chat with Mr. B S Raveesh, CEO of Aishan Technologies, about organizational politics. You can view this video in my YouTube Channel.
Do you feel you are a victim of organizational politics? This feeling can hold you back and hinder your progress.
Please reach out to me and have a free consultation discussion with me to help you move forward in your career.
Author: Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation certified Leadership and Life Coach. He focuses on working with Introvert Professionals, helping them grow as leaders by unleashing their potential.
He helps introverts celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching experience to help create more leaders among the Introverts.
Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience and done his BE and Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.
His company, Johncey George Consulting Pvt Ltd, does Leadership Development through Coaching, under the brand Coach Johncey (www.coachjohncey.com)