Politics are the combination of the “who” or “what” of an organization that possesses the ability to influence decisions. It is a tricky step to examine because politics isn’t a straight list of neither people nor policies; instead, this step focuses more on the way that the two interact. Cleary defined, organizational politics is the pursuit of individual agendas and self-interest with little to no regard to their effect on the organization’s efforts to achieve its goals. Although somewhat nebulous, it is driven by lines of influences, such as hierarchy, respect, popularity, or any kind of relationship that can skew objectivity. In order to successfully overcome office politics, hidden agendas need to be uncovered. Here are some questions that help identify these kinds of problems:
- Who are the decision makers? What are their priorities?
- Who are the internal and external stakeholders? What are their needs?
- How is revenue generated? (Sales, service charges, appropriations, etc)?
- How are trust relationships formed? What is their effect on the project?
- How consistent is the internal regulatory environment over time?