One of the most frequent complaints that I hear from managers is how difficult it is to get things done in the face of conflicting agendas, misaligned priorities, pursuit of personal goals, and unresolved issues — all often lumped under the umbrella of “politics.”
First, the emergence of politics can be a warning flag for your project — a sign that your stakeholders have concerns about moving forward. The last thing you should want as a manager is for these concerns to go underground and surprise you later.
The second reason is that politics stimulate public debate. We’re all familiar with candidate forums during election season. If you put aside the theater and posturing, the debate is an effective way of educating the electorate and moving towards a public consensus.
Draw a Political Map. Whenever you want to make some sort of change, create a map of the different stakeholders and then analyze them from a political perspective.
Hold a Debate. Engage the different stakeholders in dialogue, not only with you but with each other.
Come to a Compromise. Once you’ve mapped the political terrain and opened up the dialogue, create a targeted plan for building alignment.
This missed the most important issue of office politics: the Marqirivally (spelling?) type of politics, using personal types to maximize personal gains. Otherwise this blog touches on an important issue in real life!