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Before I founded Beyond Philosophy, I worked in corporate life. I was neck deep in company politics there, too. I learned that navigating through them was tricky and that there was a surprising lack of literature on how to do it better. Back then, there were fewer books on such things, and podcasts and TED talks didn’t exist, at least not to the degree they do today. It seemed there was a void regarding managing company politics. However, doing so is an essential area to master if you want your Customer Experience program to get the support it needs to survive and thrive in your organization.
In this episode, we share our 5 Rules for successfully managing your company politics that should work no matter where you are and whatever organizational climate you face. We pull from decades of work experience and supporting clients through their company’s politics to share tried and true advice for understanding and play the game of company politics successfully for your career.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
I have dealt with company politics my entire working life. These rules I share are designed to help you learn vicariously through me—because nobody pulls you aside at the company orientation to tell you how to deal with them. While this list is not exhaustive on the topic, it can certainly lay the foundation for a successful management of the politics you encounter at your organization.
- Don’t be naïve. Company politics are everywhere and they affect your ability to do your job.
- Understand how to play chess. The game teaches strategy, which is essential to playing the company politics game.
- Realize that sometimes you need to lose a battle to win the war. It does no good to win the argument if you lose support from your allies; drop it and revisit the issue later, if necessary.
- Focus on the customer. Company politics should not get in the way of your doing what is right for the customer.
- Do a good job. If you do your job well consistently, everyone will want you on the team no matter who has the most power in company politics.
Here are some highlights of the discussion:
- 03:53 We define what company politics are and what we are managing.
- 06:40 Colin shares examples where company politics derailed customer experience programs.
- 08:53 We discuss how playing chess and managing company politics are fairly similar endeavors.
- 12:15 Ryan shares how understanding what your customer wants helps you manage your colleagues to get what you want.
- 15:26 Colin explains how people usually go along with your ideas until you ask them to do something—and what you can do about it.
- 18:54 Colin shares a story about how he learned that sometimes it’s better to blame the consultant for unpopular moments in your implementation strategy.
- 21:29 Colin shares the secret to career success his dad taught him that will trump any political games at any organization no matter who is in power.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on Linkedin and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
Why Customers Buy: As an official “Influencer” on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers.
Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren’t deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more.
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Click here to learn more about Beyond Philosophy’s Suite of Services.