The Political Arena

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to quip: “I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.” Conflict can be found in every organization—agendas vary, personalities clash, influencers seek a better deal. Any of these can flare up to engulf the place in politics. The most programmed machine, the most secure entrepreneur, the most established culture can be challenged, whether arbitrarily for advantage or because some fundamental condition has changed.


When conflict dominates, the organization can be described as a Political Arena, like a bunch of crabs clawing at each other in a bucket. All the legitimate ...

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