Invigorating Corporate Performance

Helping build positive, ethical and efficient organizations is our goal. Organizational politics is a dynamic in almost every key corporate issue. Yet few of those dealing with key issues know how to use what has been learned about organizational politics to build real world solutions to critical issues. The Political Savvy Advantage™ takes these lessons directly into account when addressing key organiaztional issues. The results are more realistic, effective and lasting.

Below are example questions related to corporate performance. Five are on this page and another five is on the next page. Is your company facing any of these issues and addressing them with an approach that includes the Political Savvy perspective?   Click Here for Printable Version »

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Innovation

Corporate Politics that stimulate innovation in the organization

"How do we stimulate innovation throughout the businesss?"
--CEO

A growing number of businesses are realizing that without constant innovation the ability to survive and thrive in a competitive global economy is not likely. "In the past innovation was relegated to the Research and Development division off on some campus like setting away from business operations. It is now clear that innovation needs to come from everyone. Innovation is needed not only in products and services but also in every way that the company operates."

Succesful innovation requires a supportive culture, smart risk taking, knowing how to deal with ambiguity in continously restructuring organizations, personal leadership initiative in navigating ideas through the system. It is unfortunate that despite initiatives to encourage creativity and risk taking at every level; most innovative ideas never see the light of day and are killed prematurely.

Our research at Political Savvy provides strong evidence that a major reason for the lack of continuous innovation is the inattention to the role that organizational politics plays in the innovation process in almost every business. Innovations represesent new ideas that if successful can create a new order of things.

As Machieavelli noted, "...It should be considered that there is nothing more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, or more dangerous to carry through than to initiate a new order of things. For the innovator makes enemies of all those who prosper by the old order while only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new. Their support is lukewarm partly from fear of their adversaries, who have existing laws on their side, and partly because men are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience. In consequence, whenever those who oppose the change can do so, they attack vigorously..."

Few works on innovation even mention internal politics and most works on politics seldom get past the micro interpersonal side and address the process of innovation within the business.

Political Savvy is often the missing ingredient essential to making constant innovation an organizational reality.

The Gateway Experience allows executives and people at all levels to discover for themselves the intimate relationship between continuous innovation and political savvy.

Top Management
Team Building

Team Building in an organization
"How do I get my team to stop bickering among themselves and start actually start woking together as a team? Our corporate survival depends upon it?"
--CEO

At senior levels of management at least two extra dynamics come into play. First, while unable to say so, several members want the CEO's job. This creates an underlying tension that cannot be expressed where their may be greater incentives to undermine each other than to work together. Some people would rather be CEO of a less effective organization than a Senior Vice President of a higly effective organization.

A second and separate dynamic is sometimes called "The Land of the Bosses" syndrome. Before being promoted to Corporate Headquarters to head a major function or division, these executives have often been 'the boss' at units outside of corporate for years without another 'boss' in daily sight. Once promoted to Corporate Headquarters the person who has gotten used to being treated as the boss when they arrive at the office each day is suddenly crammed into an area where everone around them has also been 'the boss' for much of their career.

Entering the "Land of the Bosses" is a new experience for them, one they are often not prepared for. A common scenario is that they first act like the boss they have been for some time, but then their fellow bosses won't let them. So they can't go sideways. They certainly can't boss the CEO, though some foolishly try. So they can't go up.

Then they revert back to their more normal habits of 'bossing' those below them in the field. For some reason, many of them seem to forget that when they were bosses in the field they spent a good deal of their time protecting their unit from all the junk that came down from corporate. So they find they can't quite boss downwards either. All this can become very frustrating, but of course their egos could never allow them to admit it. They can become stuck and quite frustrated. Unless something like political savvy behavior develops; this frustration can act out in ways dysfunctional to everyone around them especially the corporation. Afterall this group at the top often represents the most seasoned of the companies best and brightest.

Internal Competition

work together for the good of the corporation ending internal turf wars

"How do we stop the 'turf wars' and get people to collaborate across the division or department silos?"
-- SVP

Businesses are designed to be collaborative within an organization, in order to compete without. Yet, far too often internal competition is the norm.

The normal process starts off simply and rationally. The business's overall goal is subjected to the rational division of labor and broken down into smaller goals such as marketing goals, financial goals, manufacturing goals, etc. .

These goals are then rationally backed by rewards of which their are not enough to fully go around. A scarce resource and scare reward environment is generally the result. This leads to irrational competition and silos between the very functions or units that are supposed to be collaborating with each other.

As a consequence, much of the organizations energy goes into internal friction, blame, and self protectiveness rather than towards serving the customer and shareholder.

The Political Savvy Advantage shows how to turn 'silo' defenders into silo linkers thus creating a Win-Win Solution.

Succession Planning

succession planning and executive coaching for high potential managers on organizational politics

"Tara is top management material, but the others will eat her alive if she doesn't get coaching to deal with the internal politics."-- Retiring CEO

It is still surprising to many that one can attain very high levels in the organization and still be relatively 'clueless' about the politics going on all around them.

Sometimes such people have excellent technical and leadership track records that political naivate was not a deterrent in reaching their current level. However, more and more studies are identifying lack of political savvy as a key derailment factor for people who otherwise are technically and business savvy.

The higher one goes in the corporation the more likely understanding the inner political workings will be critical to their longer term success. That is why in these cases receiveing mentoring or coaching in political savvy can make or break individuals as they rise to the highest levels.

Ethical Culture

ethical leadership and ethics in corporate culture

"How do we build a strong ethical base for our culture?"
-- Corporate Executive

As competition and change builds at a faster pace, the temptation to cut corners will only increase.

Recent headlines indicate on the surface what is likely going on undetected in other corporations.

Yet it is the ethical nature of a business and the trust it builds with key stakeholders that will play a major role in its long term success.

One of the breakthrough findings of the studies was the emergence of the phrase:

"Ethics is Power"

For most people operating ethically is a 'shouldism', a type of obligation. What clearly should emerge from our results was that those identified as politically savvy were seen to operate ethically; resulting in much higher influence throughout the organization than others. [see the ethics is power section of the website]. The political savvy advantage provides a clear grounding for establishing an ethical basis for a culture. Each person has their own personal best. Ethical based cultures bring out the personal best in most people. The result is an increased impact of satisfaction and performance.

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Gain the proven benefits from the Savvy Advantage using various forms of Political Savvy research, books, seminars and coaching.

Mastering organizational politics through Political Savvy is a proven ethical leadership approach that any organization and any individual can use to both influence positive change in an organization and achieve career success at the same time; even when negative organizational politics are severe.

Contact us if you have interests in the above issues or with dilemmas you are currently facing concerning organizational politics.

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