The one good thing about being a robot is that you never need to play politics. That's not to say that we don't play politics - its just to say that we know we always have the choice.
Sifting through our research a general pattern has emerged in the way British managers conduct themselves in business. A pattern that highlights worrying signs for the future of corporate UK.
It is true that this pattern has been alive within the british establishment for decades, but never on the scale as in the business world today.
Every business is comprised of a variety of different systems, including information systems, human management systems, corporate vision dissemenation systems, marketing systems, fianancial accounting systems, customer relation management systems, health & safety systems and legal and compliance management systems, to name but a few. Regardless of whatever size of business you run, your MD will most likely be responsible for maintaining all these complex structures and your own performance as a manager will be measured against how well each of these systems are developed. To achieve this you may well implement performance appraisal systems such as KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analysis systems, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) measures and transparent, open and authoratitive reporting to the shareholders of the company.
With so many systems to maintain and be responsible for, you'd have thought that there would be little room for introducing ever greater complexity. Especially where this complexity involves the establishment of systems that are not open, not transparent, not ethical and not based on good business practices, but rather rampant - self-interest. "Political Games Systems".
Again, we're not saying that rampant self-interest isn't good. Rather, that there is a place for self-interest and that place falls generally outside the context of something owned by somebody else. In other words, if you want to be self-interested, go and build your own business. Don't play politics inside someone elses company.
When managers feel pressured by the responsibility of maintaining existing business systems, many of them fall into playing the game of politics. For many, this is a subconcious reaction to being squeezed. For others, it is a game to be relished. A game for lazy people, a game for con-men. For procrastinators. For people who would rather play games - than do things that make a real difference to the business.
We call this the "politics - replaces responsibility" syndrome.
Don't ask "is my company motivated - ask - what is it motivated by?".