Re: Handling Power & Politics LO1905
Sat, 1 Jul 1995 15:12:25 -0400

Replying to LO1829 --

Ivan said in part:

>>>We should not fight them off, but as we build learning organizations
politics and power will lose their effect on organizational life. They
may not totally disappear, but those relying on porwer and politics would
find themselves out of place. <<<

Autocratic power will die out hopefully but other forms of power will take
its place.

I believe that power is the ability to make decisions and carry them out.
Politics is the art of dealing with diagreement about how things are going
to be between us. If there is agreement there is no problem. Politics
raises its head when there is disagreement.

I have been taught that there are four models for decision making in an
organizational setting: autocratic, consultative, consensual, and
delegative. I think the pure Learning Organization model rests on a
consensual model for decison making and sometimes perhaps consultative,
but the bringing about of consensus requires great power particularly when
there is great disagreement and conflict and politics is the art of
getting people to work their differences out.

In short, power and politics, are very much a part of the learning
organization but they get used in quite different ways than in the
traditional hierarchial organization.

What do you think?

David Markham