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Do You Know Who is Moving Your Cheese?

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  • 1. Do You Know Who Is Moving Your Cheese?Navigating and Surviving Organizational Politics Like a Pro Panelists: Marc Tate, Principal Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans, CEO Booz Allen Hamilton The Barthwell Group
  • 2. Panelists BiosMr. Tate is a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton in the Healthcare market, specializing in the Information Technology capability. In that role,Mr. Tate leads the firm’s business at the Social Security Administration which includes developing the market strategy and growthprojections for an over $90 million account portfolio, coordinating participation from across the firm, and leveraging existing relationshipsto expand the firm’s business base. He has also led consulting work for not-for-profit organizations, providing vital managementconsulting support for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Services Organizations, and SUNY College at Old Westbury.Mr. Tate is also engaged in and leads many of the firm’s diversity initiatives. As a past diversity manager of the year and leader in theBoard Diversity Initiative, he has worked with recruiting to improve the firm’s methods for identifying and attracting qualified candidateswith a wide array of backgrounds and experiences. Mr. Tate is also part of the firm’s oversight team for the National Society of BlackEngineers. To support recruiting efforts at Virginia’s five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Mr. Tate was a featured speaker atthe Virginia High Tech Partnership internship program. He is also the Program Manager for the Black Engineer of the Year Awardprogram, responsible for evaluating and developing nomination packages for submission.Mr. Tate holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington and a MS in Information and TelecommunicationsSystems from Johns Hopkins University. Marc A. Tate Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Barthwell Group, Inc., a multi-faceted management consulting firm specializing in providing strategic management (developing and implementing planning, diversity, branding, and teambuilding strategies), partnership building, and workshops and training seminars to clients throughout the United States. Founded in 2005, the Barthwell Group has established a track record of successfully serving a number of clients including Lockheed Martin Aeronatuics Company, TIAA-CREF, ING, Jackson State University, and Stillman College. Under Dr. Evans’ leadership, the Barthwell Group has experienced impressive growth both in revenues and personnel largely due to multiple contracts from highly satisfied clients. This weekend, Dr. Evans will receive the “Entrepreneur Leadership Award” from the Women of Color STEM Conference. Prior to launching The Barthwell Group, Dr. Evans was an accomplished banker, lawyer, and management consultant. In addition, throughout her career, Dr. Evans has provided leadership to a variety of not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States through her board service. In addition, Dr. Evans has organized three scholarship funds benefitting African-American students at higher education institutions throughout the United States. Dr. Evans Dr. Evans is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Columbia University. 1
  • 3. Icebreaker: Organizational Politics Questions True False 1. Watching the TV show “Survivor” is all you need to do to better understand how to survive organizational politics 2. Women are more likely than men to gossip in the workplace 3. Using an informal network to get things done is cheating 4. Building a trusted network is a key ingredient that can help you become successful in your organization 5. Since perception is key in the workplace, golf should only be played for pleasure and never mixed with business 6. If you do not like the structure of your organization, you should do everything you can to resist until changes are made 7. Happy hours, lunches, and other social events are a great way to meet new people and build your network 8. It is best to have one mentor at a time who is most similar to you with the same background and experiences 9. Flexibility and adaptability will go a long way in helping you navigate through your organization 10. The speaker for this presentation has no clue what he is talking about 2
  • 4. Understanding your “cheese” and how it links to organizationalpolitics will get you into the game sooner Do you know what your cheese is? Have you been relying on your same old cheese for too long? And why? Have you looked for new cheese? Have you learned how to protect your cheese by playing the game? 3
  • 5. With your cheese in mind, understand that all organizations arepolitical – but what does that mean? Organizational politics involve power and influence “Movement in a – The pursuit of agendas and interests (i.e., your cheese) new direction – Who gets what they want; How do they get it? When do they get it? helps you find new cheese.” With an ever-changing work environment, nothing is static -Who Moved My – Anticipate change, and be ready to adapt quickly (don’t be complacent) Cheese, by Spencer Johnson – The people who are always reinventing themselves tend to have success – Staying current on your work environment trends puts you in a good position With change in mind, use organizational politics to your advantage to get your cheese – Influence without authority – Use office politics in a healthy, positive way (not a sneaky, manipulative way) “Anyone who uses the informal network of an organization to get things done is using organizational politics.” – Using Organizational Politics to Your Advantage, by Patricia Addesso 4
  • 6. Surviving office politics requires employees to have the ability tohandle negative politics and adversity with positive politicsNeutralize Negative Politics Identify those who use negative politics – “Keep your friends close but enemies closer” – Get to know these colleagues and be courteous, but be careful of what you say around them – Understand their motivations and goals Negative Neutral Note that people who aggressively use negative politics generally do not think much of their abilitiesHandle Negative Politics Build a strong network of people all around you – Use your network to increase the visibility of your achievements and attract new opportunities for yourself Build a strong reputation across your organization Maintain your integrity and become known as a trustworthy and ethical person Build your network and reputation 5
  • 7. Women have historically been challenged by gender misconceptionsthat must be considered in navigating organizational politics Less work-oriented than men  Will gossip and cause conflict Strong communications and  Have many personal commitments emotional intelligence (more family-oriented) Guided by emotions, not reason  Will be flexible and empathetic Less financially-oriented  Work better in groups (consensus builders) Not natural executives/leaders  Use informal networks ineffectively Strong in the arts, not STEM  Not politically savvy, but loyalMisconceptions can be overcome by increasing your political savvy 6
  • 8. Successful employees must learn to be political in a positive way  Form trusted allegiances 6 Tips for Utilizing Form  Advocate for each other Positive Politics Alliances  Allies will be your key to success  Be visible – volunteer for high profile tasks or get your accomplishments written up in a newsletter  Do favors for people, but ask them for  Praise others – send a note of Negotiate things in return congratulations to colleagues who receive  Create win-win situations promotions or have success on a project  Make an effort to connect – call a colleague you have not spoken with in a  Don’t use your alliance negatively while and invite that person to lunch Be Careful  When doing things for others, don’t  Diversify network – Attend a different over do or cater only to those in charge forum’s event  Engage in activities – Play golf even if you never have before  Be honest, and trustworthy  Understand timing – know when it’s the Be  Avoid gossiping to get ahead right time to ask for something, or provide Authentic  Rise on your own efforts your input 7
  • 9. Moving your cheese is not a specific science, but understanding bestpractices will help you navigate organizational politics moving forward Be proactive in reinventing yourself and creating new successes Stay current on your Identify a mentor and work environment advocate for others trends Anticipate change Best Practices for Build a network of and be ready to Navigating diverse perspectives react quickly Organizational built on mutual respect Politics Learn the art of Get to know co-workers small talk while on a personal level being authentic Avoid gossip 8
  • 10. Questions and Contact Information Marc A. Tate Principal Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. 575 Herndon Parkway Herndon, VA 20171 Tel (703) 902-5094 tate_marc@bah.com Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans CEO The Barthwell Group, Inc. 2035 West Boston Blvd. Detroit, MI 48206 (313) 866-9000 abevans@barthwellgroup.com 9
  • 11. Additional Resources Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson The Power of Leadership “Being the Leader Producing Results” by Daniel Sweet and Debbra Sweet It’s not a Glass Ceiling It’s a Sticky Floor by Rebecca Shambaugh 6-Myths about Men and Women in the Workplace (http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-myths-about- men-and-women-in-the-workplace) Organizational Politics- Developing Ethical Leadership for Corporate and Career Advancement (http://www.organizationalpolitics.org/) The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace (http://www.hodu.com/EQ.shtml) Using Organizational Politics to Your Advantage (https://www.phoenix.edu/profiles/faculty/patricia- addesso/articles/using-organizational-politics-to-your-advantage.html) Dealing with Office Politics- Navigating the Minefield (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_85.htm) 10