Depending how far you make it up the corporate ladder, you may really feel the warmth the higher up you go. Executives and professionals discuss it on a regular basis, Sage Naumann particularly over cocktails, however hardly ever in formal discussions or meetings. If it does come up in a proper setting, it is likely brought up as "We need to reinvigorate culture."
And in case you are running a new enterprise in a big company that is developing or trying to develop a product or answer that is disruptive to the mainstream business, then you might be likely drowning in corporate politics.
That certainly was my personal experience in running a business group that was creating new computers and gadgets for people residing at the backside of the pyramid. Any product we created would match Clayton Christensen's definition of a disruptive innovation: i.e. compared to the PC, it might be more affordable (cheaper), easier to make use of (addressing computer/tech literacy points), and have a novel value nonexistent in PC's today.
How did it turn out for me? Not great. I walked in with open eyes, having seen politics in action before and having navigated through it efficiently to get things done. I oknew it might be a tough slog given what we were doing, but I used to be nonetheless blindsided by the intensity of driving a disruptive business.
Actually, I had give you a approach of describing corporate politics that I talked about ceaselessly with my group, peers, and respective bosses:
There are "good" politics, and there are "bad" politics. Good politics are when somebody needs to work the system (e.g. culture, personalities, organizational silos) to achieve business objectives that are GOOD for the company (e.g. bringing in new revenue, growth, revenue, and glad prospects). Bad politics are when somebody works the same system to make themselves look good.
The ethical of the story is obviously to follow good politics and keep away from the bad. Wanting back, the issue with this method, and why I bought blindsided, is that you are able to do the most effective job, train your best networking abilities, and create unbelievable things on your firm, however by ignoring what I call the negative politicians, you will likely end up on the brief finish of the stick and you and the business you're running will suffer from it.
So my important advice is ... know your enemy more than they know themselves. I really hate to use the word enemy, as my "individuals" philosophy tends to be more on the trusting side. But these of us see YOU because the enemy; as competition for whatever that future lucrative place or promotion may be. (And a hint: they're proper in a way. As you move higher up within the firm, there are fewer positions to go around. Everything turns into more competitive.)
So let me present five characteristics of the negative politicians I've observed over the years. They successfully:
Self promote. They exit of their method internally to promote themselves below the auspices of selling their business or product. In the event that they weblog or publish inside articles about something related to their business group, you may see subliminal hints of-self promotion.
Handle up. They typically withhold negative information about their enterprise to their bosses and selectively spin things for the positive.
Use information as power. They may use confidential (or what they place as confidential) business details about a part of the enterprise they are involved in to reinforce credibility. For example, in a gathering with other senior managers they will disclose some decisions or strategies that they know will captivate their audience.
Grow to be "buddies" with the powers-that-be. They tend to actively network with the key movers and shakers within the company. If the executive suite tends to be political as well, you can guess that they've discovered methods to endear themselves to the corporate's high dogs.
Spread disinformation about potential "competitors." They quietly spread rumors and/or misinformation about someone that will threaten them career-smart, or towards the enterprise that person runs.
If reading these five traits makes your abdomen clench, both in precept or because you've seen them in motion, the next question you're seemingly asking is how do I steer clear of these folks?
Short answer: You may't. Lengthy answer: Learn to work within "the company of wolves," regardless of whether or not the depth of politics is low or high. And I think you are able to do this with out sinking to their their level.
I am by no means the expert on the best way to navigate these waters, however I've realized from past mistakes and have thought hard and long about the subject.
I've 5 suggestions I would give to those who are at the moment in or expecting to finally be in this scenario:
Preserve your ear to the ground -- always. Maintain an eye out and hold a psychological list of those that constantly act the way I described above. By increasing your trusted network, you uncover misinformation and can make corrections.