Organisational Politics

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Unlocking the positive potential of organisational politics

The ability to influence people to do things that they would not otherwise do because of personal or professional interests.


Contribute offer training and coaching around the area of organisational politics which is often ignored by coaches, trainers and organisations. According to John Van Maneen, the MIT based ethnographer, the three pillars of organisations are the strategic, cultural and political, though our attention is overwhelmingly skewed towards the strategic. At Contribute we have integrated and extended Sandy Cotter’s work on Power and Influence. We take the view that there is great potential around addressing the political sphere in organisations and individuals.

We offer a reframing of organisational politics and a practical framework to develop more awareness, skill and competence around this important and neglected area of organisational life. We offer the view that organisational politics is a skill which can be used for the greater good or in a self-serving way: the stereotypical view of organisational politics clouds the benefits of this important skill.


Our experience is that talented, hardworking and loyal employees often plateau in their careers and don’t reach their leadership potential because they neglect their skills in the political sphere. We experience that our professionals often suffer from two blocks around organisational politics; the moral block and the rational block. Those hampered by the moral block view those that engage politically as morally corrupt and should not be associated with. Those hampered by the rational block feel that hard work and dedication should be enough to succeed and political skill should not be necessary. At Contribute we have been very successful in helping our clients reframe and gain a new perspective on organisational politics and offer a framework to assess situations and handle them with new found skill. We coach our clients to employ a more strategic form of communication that refers to the needs of the organisation.


We experience that our organisational politics programs help build great trust in teams when this, the ultimate taboo of organisational life, is addressed. It also helps team to connect with the needs of the organisation, the needs of their managers and the needs of other teams.


At an organisational level our work can help the organisation maximise the impact of its talent. In a large hierarchical structures, talented, hardworking and dedicated employees may not reach the upper levels of management because they lack the political skill to operate at higher levels in their organisation. Our programs can help employees to appreciate and recognise this gap in their leadership skills and prepare them for a fuller career to the benefit of the organisation.