Work at Corporates is essentially, Teamwork. Teams work on Routine jobs, Projects, Research and Development, CSR activity et al. Professionally qualified Individuals join the corporates at various levels, based on their respective academic qualifications and experiences. Through their teamwork, the Corporate grows, the individuals grow. They rise on the Corporate ladder in their position, stature, remuneration and other material gains. At least that is what they expect to achieve.
Every Corporates has its own specific “Vision” and “Mission”, they have their goals and operating culture. The working teams and managerial teams are expected to fully align with these and reap the benefits of teamwork equitably. There are reward systems for those who excel, and punishments or reprimands for the failures. In a perfect world, the Corporate engine chugs along harmoniously.
And this is where the problem begins. The world is not perfect and neither are the Corporates. At many Corporates, all the theory above remains on the paper and the Corporates get governed by their flexible styles of adopted Values and Virtues. Transparency in dealings at many stages and levels is thrown to the winds. Nepotism, favouritism and petty selfishness creep in, giving backseat to quality and efficiency, even at the cost of a long term or short-term loss to the Corporate. Various groups of stakeholders, you may even call them interested parties, may vie with each other to get into the driving seat of the Corporate management and some over-ambitious individuals at key positions may milk the Corporate cow to their benefit.
The short word for this is Corporate Politics. It breeds out of greed, unhealthy competition, expectations of out-of-turn favours and gains, injustice in dealings. This may benefit a few, but by and large, it generates ill wills. While the favoured ones quietly put their teeth into the gains, other dissatisfied dogs start barking and biting around to get pieces of the meat. Achievements through hard work get replaced by glib talk and misinformation. The rot sets in and if not checked in time, it may bring down the entire Corporate tree over time.
Corporate politics needs to be checked, needs to be arrested and if not eliminated, consistent efforts need to be made to reduce it to the minimum. Although in ancient times the Corporates in the present form did not exist, political bickering and political activities were known to exist in social dealings. Present-day Corporates are part and parcel of the social system and hence they get affected by the social environment and the political systems around them. The Corporates cannot control the world outside their boundaries. But inside their boundaries, they need to put their checks and balances in place to address the issue of internal politics.
Sometimes it is proclaimed that counter politics is the only effective way to deal with politics. This axiom may be right when the Corporates are operating in the outside world which is full of adversaries. But within the walls of the Corporate, the same axiom does not hold good. Inside the Corporate, all individuals are part of one team. A healthy competition fuels the Corporate engine to accelerate on the path of achievements. Total transparency in dealings, just and ethical methodologies and sticking to the Standard Operating Procedures in all internal operations, vigilance, proper use of PM system, rewards and reprimand system are some of the ways to block the political activity from erupting among the ranks and files of the Corporate. Internal politics can be at a peer level, at colleagues’ level or at the level of superiors. First and foremost, it is for the “Superiors” at every level to be watchful and to align with the Value System laid down by the management.
Our ancient scriptures are like bacon lights to us in every respect. They elaborate in detail on the social mix of the good and the bad and the ways to negate the bad. The Vedas, Upanishads, The Bhagwad Geeta, all teach us that each entity has a mix of “Satvik”, “Rajasik” and “Tamasik” Guna. The Political activity, fueled by the “Tamasik” guna of the individuals or a set of individuals gets negated only by the prevalence of the “Satvik” Guna.
Political behaviour stems from the “Tamasik Gunas” in the individuals and uses the drive of “Rajasik” Guna. The existence of “Tamasikatva” in various ways and to various extent Is natural in all human beings and that is where the Corporates need to be watchful. Any precipitation of the Political traits (Tamasik Gunas) into political activities and behavioural changes in the individuals at all levels triggers politicising into the working mannerism. This should be arrested and nipped in the bud.
Corporate politics has ruined many a life and many Corporates. The ruins of Corporates have badly affected society. The desire to arrest internal political activities needs to come from the top and it is essential to drill it down rigorously and consistently right to the bottom.