How office politics sabotage the workplace
By Philip Read and Mauricio Goldstein
June 24, 2009
For example: Brendan, a smart new hire with an MBA, was the most junior member of a team that was put together to analyze growth possibilities for the company. Sensing a threat, others on the team "forgot" to brief Brendan before a key meeting, delegated to him time-consuming and low-level tasks, or picked his ideas to death. Eventually he threw in the towel -- and took his good ideas to a competitor.
When we lift the lid on office politics, what we find are "games." The game that was played with Brendan we call the "Marginalize" game: subtle exclusion, cutting people out of decision-making loops, for personal or political reasons.
But there are many more games that are played at work and over time they sabotage the workplace by destroying trust, stifling innovation, preventing learning and diverting time from customers to internal bickering.
Examples of games:
Gotcha: identifying and communicating others' mistakes to the boss.
The Boss Said: invoking the name of a senior executive to imply that what they are saying is gospel.