Corporate chess

How can you survive Organizational Politics & thrive in Corporate Culture?

Every individual is driven or sometimes even controlled by some objectives in his or her life and mostly looks for constant growth. To achieve success and overcome hurdles, they must have a positive mindset and views. The organization or institution they work with becomes the vehicle (that’s why we use to call it carrier) for their personal fulfillment, and as a result, the organization’s purpose gets served.

When the internal dynamics and connection of people and organizational goals is healthy, it becomes a win-win situation for both sides. Dynamics among the people within the organization can either immune growth or push one’s career towards astonishing success.

Workplace politics is the process and behavior in human interactions involving power and authority. If we look at the definition of politics, words like power, authority, governance, and control stand out among others. And since, there are no specific rules for such aspects of business, politics in an organization becomes a subtle art that depends on every being.

Over the years, businesses and professionals have observed so many negative effects of organizational politics that it is among the most cursed terms in the corporate world today.

But what are professionals doing to curb it? Have they become a slave to organizational politics by giving up to the situation? If no one is safe from this evil play, then why should we create a taboo around it?

Let us decipher its nature and understand it. Awareness will help us in dealing with it better than just running away from it.

There are three types of people in organizations.

Competent People, who know their boundaries and subject very well and are eager to learn and grow. With to their high level of knowledge asset, they are the ones that really lift the organization upward.

Relationship People, these people have mastered the art of building relationships. In other words, they are the networkers. They know how to use the right card with the right people, connect with them, increase the relationships, and develop a high level of trust with people

Sponsored People, they cleverly play on the power dynamics in the organization. They have the ability to see where the fulcrum of power lies and how they can link themselves with certain people in the organization, who can eventually help them to achieve their goals.

When it is being led by the hidden interests of people who don’t completely belong to any of the above categories, organizational politics starts to rise. The challenge starts escalating when people belong to any of these three categories partially.

By governing and control mechanism in the organization, these people start using control and governance mechanism to sustain their hidden agenda and benefit, which they think is crucial for surviving in the ecosystem, as animals do. In the absence of positive capabilities and influence on decision-makers, these people often depend upon tactics, manipulation, and gossip to reach their destination by creating hurdles in the path of others. Thus, giving rise to organizational politics.

Once we identify in which category these people fall into, we need to create an environment to push them to reach the full state of any category, so that they can get to know their actual potential and do not use organizational politics to sustain their personal agenda.

Due to all the negative factors that sustain organizational politics, you should try to note where you stand and sail away from it intelligently. In this race of survival, where everyone is following the rule of Jungle where the powerful survive and weak often dies, the best way to play safe is to become aware of your surroundings and know your own position.

An old African Proverb that well defines today’s concept of Organizational Politics.

There is hardly any professional in the world that does not experience politics in the organization, so there is no point in putting your head in the blanket and escape reality. The best solution to survive organizational politics is to accept its presence, understand its nature, and stay professional by adapting to the habit which is closest to your natural self. As Charles Darwin wrote in his book THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, but the most adaptable.”

Taimoor Ayaz
I'm a Computer Science graduate from Bahria University, a travel enthusiast and CSS aspirant. I create content and write travelogues for the e-syndicate community. My content area includes International Affairs, Traveling, Technology, Climate Change, Aviation, Space Sciences and Science in general.