What Can Sherlock Holmes Teach Us About Office Politics?

“Politics” is rampant in every organisation and it always will be.

Sometimes it is calculated, sometimes it is unconscious but why does it happen at all and is there any way of managing it?

“You see, but you do not observe” (Sherlock Holmes) A Scandal in Bohemia, 1892

As CEO’s or leaders within companies it is critical that we are able to observe what is really going on within our organisation to ensure that we are not only presented with the “facts” that we want to hear.

The reason that organisations have politics and always will is because people are trying to get their needs met. It has nothing to do with you or the company.

Suppose we look at the banking industry. Would it be unreasonable that this greed for making more and more money at the expense of ethics is born out of a desire to be better than someone else – and in that industry the bonus was the measure. Their needs were significance. Can you imagine this person as a child? What they may have been like? Highly competitive?

Or what about the person in the company who is blaming other people when things go wrong and taking credibiltiy of other people’s successes (the are strongly linked)?

And the reason that we are all conditioned to have certain needs and behave in certain ways is because when we were children it worked with our parents so our subconsious brain makes the link that this works, why stop doing it?


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