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Business Digest

Games at Work

July-August 2009

Business_Digest_-_Book_summaryBased on Games at Work: How to Recognize & Reduce Office Politics, Mauricio GOLDSTEIN and Philip READ, Jossey-Bass, April 2009.

Across time and culture, companies have grappled with office politics: Gossip, Blame, Token Involvement, No Bad Feedback … the list goes on and on! Even the most transparent organizations can fall victim to office foul play, especially in the face of uncertainty—following a merger or leadership change, for example. The key to preventing office games is creating awareness of their ill effects and fostering an open and efficient corporate
culture.

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Business_Digest_-_Book_Summary.pdf

Business Digest is a Paris-based monthly management review. Published since 1992, it helps leaders improve their understanding of the corporate environment and its evolution through dossiers covering management and leadership issues worldwide. For more information, go to: http://www.business-digest.eu/

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.

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Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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