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Positics

One of the biggest problems for any change is the frustration caused by internal politics. Often you might be frustrated at the inability to move forward and your client irritated by your failure. However, anyone who suggests they can or should try to eliminate politics is naïve. Political action forms the lifeblood of any group. But it is possible to redirect some of the selfish energy and turn the negative aspects into worthy ones, i.e. "positics", the positive application of politics.

If you want to understand the political orientation of an organization, look at its normal behaviour and ask two questions: whose interests are being promoted?; and how visible is the action? By considering these two issues, it might be possible to determine the organization's political style. Response to the first question will indicate if behaviours are focused around self-interest or shared interests. The second question will indicate if actions take place in the hidden or shadow areas or are out in the open. The result is that the target audience will potentially sit in one of the four quadrants offered in Fig. 8.6. The result is that an individual's, team's or organization's natural orientation can fall into the politics, patronage, promotion or positics quadrant.


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