This is a book about powerful processes that impact organizations but usually remain unseen, unspoken, or unacknowledged. Collectively called covert processes, they include hidden agendas, blind spots, organizational politics, the elephant in the room, secret hopes and wishes, tacit assumptions, and unconscious dynamics.

Although covert in their workings, these processes can be insidious in their impacts, often shaping outcomes without our fully realizing it. One of my earliest encounters with covert processes at work was during a meeting between the heads of two divisions. The meeting had been called to resolve conflicts over responsibilities and to establish greater collaboration between the two divisions. I was there in a staff ...

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