A Corporate Politics Primer: Nine Signs That You Have an Overly Political Organization
Well, the Democrats have taken over the House and Senate and most people are waiting anxiously to see what happens. Will the new leaders actually make progress toward their ideals or will partisan bickering result in gridlock? Will new scandals take the place of the old ones? Will the loudest, most strident squeaky wheels "get the grease"?
If you'll notice, most of our expectations seem to be negative. Regardless of your party affiliation, you've probably concluded that the political process itself is antithetical to real progress--beneficial progress, at least. The same problem often afflicts companies.
Never forget that although there is a huge difference between running a nation and running a business, human beings with human frailties are in charge of both. The same issues that cause problems in our, or any other government--selfishness, greed, petty bickering, lust for power--can creep into your company's culture and interfere with productivity. Leaders must constantly keep a sharp eye out for such 'political' problems ... in their employees and in themselves.
So what is the cure for the politically driven--or perhaps politically hampered would be more accurate--organization? No 100 percent cure exists because human beings will always be, well, human beings. But your best bet is to transform your company into the kind of organization in which politics can't take hold and thrive. Her term for such a company? "Vibrant Entrepreneurial Organization," or VEO for short.
A VEO is an organization made up of employees who feel that elusive sense of ownership that drives them to innovate constantly, to execute relentlessly, and to work with a sense of passion--employees who do what is necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
A VEO has five characteristics:
* It shares the "big picture" people need to take personal risks and hold themselves accountable.
* It inspires and nurtures employee loyalty.
* It supports high productivity while minimizing stress.
* It produces a winning tradition.
* It elevates communication to an art form.
But first things first: before you can start transforming your company into a VEO, you need to recognize the telltale warning signs that you may have the antithesis of that: an overly political organization. Here is a list of symptoms to look for, along with some remedies you can start implementing now.
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