The dictionary defines politics as activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government. The definition also includes the opinions that someone has about what should be done by governments.
As anyone who has a job or is a member of an organization knows, politics is not isolated to governmental organizations. Virtually all organizations have people who are trying to gain and keep power and who are trying to influence the actions and policies of their organization. Organizational politics can be constructive or destructive, depending on the motives and techniques used and whether the politics are aligned with the goal of achieving the organizations stated desired outcomes.
The Holistic Organizational Effectiveness Survey (HOE survey) includes a question about the effectiveness of the organization in eliminating organizational silos and internal politics as barriers to organizational effectiveness. The HOE survey uses a 5-point rating scale where 5 = Effective, 4=Somewhat effective, 3=Neutral, 2=Somewhat Ineffective and 1=Ineffective. The overall average for all of the 265 responses received is a very low rating of 2.74, indicating that most organizations have a very significant opportunity to eliminate organizational silos (fiefdoms) and to reduce unproductive politics.
Key questions for you and your organization:
- How would you rate your organization’s effectiveness in eliminating organizational silos and internal politics as barriers to organizational effectiveness?
- What needs to be done in your organization to eliminate the silos and politics?