Games at Work Interfere with Key Business Process
by Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read
August 13, 2009
Organizational Experts Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read, authors of Games at Work: How to Recognize and Reduce Office Politics, share some insight on specific office games that hinder productivity and the business process. Read on to see what they have to say:
"In our last blog we described games, and how they can interfere with productivity through sapping morale, becoming obstacles to learning, decreasing innovation and risk taking, and producing rigidity in the face of change. In this blog we want to describe how specific games can interfere with business processes.
One critical component of strategic planning is an objective assessment of the marketplace and the capabilities of the firm. Games have the potential to distort both.
No Bad News: Individuals present overly rosy communiqués; information flow from the external or internal world is optimistic or even falsified. This may result in over optimistic investment strategies for example.
Marginalize: Valuable information held by individuals who have been side-lined or blocked does not reach those who need to hear it.
The Boss Said: Information on the marketplace can be suppressed because of one individuals interpretation of what the CEO will think of this information.
Games can subvert decision-making by creating environments that are not level playing fields, and therefore increasing subjectivity.
Old War Hero: the person who has “seen it all” blocks fresh ideas because of certainty about their failure. Over time this reduces the groups ability to propose new decisions.
Great Idea: favoritism of one player gives unjustified momentum to their proposals or inputs to decision making.
Token Involvement: the CEO or other senior leader has already made their mind up but pretends to seek involvement or input without really wanting it or listening to it.