“I don’t do politics”
In my previous careers, I genuinely believed that I wasn’t a political animal, just a straight talking chap, making his way in the world. However, in retrospect, I now realise that I was highly political, even Machiavellian.
It could be said that working in contrasting but highly structured environments (commercial banking and public sector education), office politics were essential skills, if you wanted to advance your career. Accordingly, armed with an insatiable desire to progress, I could schmooze, intimidate or manoeuvre around any barrier I perceived was blocking my path.
But is this a problem? Aren’t these the essential tools that knit together the organisational fabric?
With the luxury of now viewing organisations from the outside, it becomes crystal clear just how much time is wasted through office politics. In a world where we all have too little time, too much information, too little energy – this component can often be the straw that breaks the camels back, causing good people to leave and creating a culture where trust and collaboration are left outside the front door.
British Telecom, a great British Institution, market capitalisation of £50bn+, providing telephone lines to over £28m of the UK population, helping us to be connected, be complete.....
Love them or hate them, BT has to deal with some significant issues, massive volumes, an ageing and stretched infrastructure, and, worst of all, rising customer expectations that demand immediate, fast and reliable connectivity. BT is also facing significant competition from multiple global players, all trying to access the profitable parts of their marketplace.
So when things do go wrong, against this backdrop, you would have thought that even this leviathan would be interested in addressing it effectively, after all customers do pay the bills…?
No. Unfortunately, judging by my experiences, you’d be wrong.
Chris Lorimer is an
experienced management consultant who has helped many owners, Directors and staff to achieve more.