I'll never forget the moment when I first fell in love with corporate politics. I was asked to lead a massive initiative at Disney to help the operations executives redefine the guest/cast and cast/leader experience. This group of talented (and sometimes competitive) senior leaders had never before embarked on a project of this scope collectively and there was trepidation if creating alignment was going to be like herding cats.
As the consultant on the project, I took a lot of time and care to interview each executive. I deeply listened to each person's perspective on what they thought needed to be accomplished and why it mattered to them. And I wove those perspectives together into project goals and plan that represented the collective whole. Though integrating what might have appeared to be competing priorities into a singular vision and focus, I won buy-in faster than anyone expected (including me!)
What I discovered through this experience is that politics when managed right isn't about power struggles with winners and losers. It's about discovering the third option that emerges from truly understanding AND validating all perspectives.
Consultants who can simultaneously focus on the relational/political aspects of the work along with the tactics are the ones who will ultimately empower the most meaningful and lasting organizational transformations.
In this podcast from my series Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art and Science of the Business, you'll discover why you should NEVER avoid dealing with corporate politics directly (as it is really not possible) and why it is in your best interest and your client's for you to embrace politics as the single best way to getting results that mean something to everyone.
Competing priorities isn't the problem with change. It's the judgment of that reality and avoiding working through them to find the best possible solution.
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