“Did you know that organizations are political?”
When this question is posed to a class of executives, the typical response is a low laugh. The laugh signifies that the answer is so obvious, it borders on being silly. “Everyone knows that organizations are political; if you did not know this, you would not survive.”
There is a follow-on question. “Have you ever had a boss who chose his or her personal good over the collective good?”
Usually, every hand goes up. I then ask, “How did you react when the boss made the self-interested decision?”
The most typical answer is, “I lost respect, I stopped caring, and I withdrew.”
The conventional mental map assumes that people are self-interested. The positive ...