Organizational Politics – Sequester This

Did You Hear AboutI read a post yesterday from the folks over at Keyhubs called “Diamonds in the Rough – See your Organization from the Bottom-Up.”  which got me thinking about perspective.  The view of what’s going on, when we are living inside an organization, depends greatly on the ledge upon which we are perched.

In the post, Vikas Narula outlined a project his team worked on with a client to address some performance issues within one of the company’s divisions – tanking profits, lots of grumbling, rumbling fear, new leader brought in to turn it around – you get the picture.

When working with the client they asked the following two questions of all employees:

(1)   “Who is someone who consistently delivers superior service regardless of their position in the organization?” (influence)

(2)   “Who in the organization actively blocks the forward momentum of new initiatives?” (resistance)

Would it surprise you to learn that the individual who was identified most often as the answer to Question 1 was buried 4 layers down on the organizational chart?  It sure didn’t knock the socks off of me.

And I was definitely not amazed to discover that the 4 individuals who were most clearly identified as the resisters were….three senior leaders and one mid-level leader.

Color me shocked.  Not.


Roadblocks and resistance.  Territorial wars and self-preservation.  “I won’t move if you won’t move.”

All wrapped up nice and cozy in a snuggly dysfunctional blanket of fear – “good grief Janice, don’t say anything! You’ll get us all in trouble!   Besides, nothing will change anyway….”

So much like with the sequester we all have our personal opinions of where, and with whom, to lay the blame.  We point our finger directly at……..


…………….. the other guy.


One comment

  1. Rory Trotter says:

    Good post, Robin.

    Unfortunately, it’s mostly in the nature of human beings to be blame the other guy/gal.

    Humility and self awareness are rare traits, and in corporate America may not even be in one’s best interest.

    The sequester comparison is an interesting example, and it’s a bit troubling to me that corporate offices are so similar to the political arena nowadays (because if there is one thing that’s dysfunctional it’s government, and if it looks like a duck…)

    Good post. Thanks for sharing, and as always keep writing.



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