Do you have “organizational savvy?”
Organizations are composed of people; people have emotions, and therefore do not always behave in a rational, altruistic, or predictable manner. Change is a constant at most companies and industries, and change impacts emotions.
A large organization will always have some competing advantages within and across work groups, which often are exacerbated by change. Perceptions, whether right or wrong, linger in people’s minds and can either advance or hinder your efforts and career growth.
Not everyone will always notice your quality work and innovative thinking; you have to learn how to be your own best advocate. To that end, I’ve found the book Survival of the Savvy by to be an extremely helpful resource.
Here’s the book in a nutshell:
- “Politics” isn’t a dirty word; it’s value-neutral
- You won’t find any organization where politics does not exist!
- It’s very possible to employ high-integrity political strategies
- Political savvy and skill can help ethical, competent people sell ideas and influence others for the good of the organization
- You can learn to identify your political styles and make conscious efforts to increase effectiveness and build solid relationships
The authors emphasize that “savvy” people do a few key things consistently well:
- Blend integrity, competence, and political skill
- Adapt their approaches for optimal influence while getting things done
- Realistically observe the range of political behaviors, cultural norms, and unwritten rules across an organization
- Remain professional and exhibit high emotional intelligence (self-management and relationship-management)
- Are conscious of their own image
- Are not easily manipulated
Reflect on this list just above. If you believe you possess some gaps, then check out this book or similar resources that can help you to navigate the often rough seas of organizational life.