In all honesty, every organization, big or small, suffers from internal politics. Maybe because politics are part of human beings, part of our personality and, hence, our behavior. It is one of the consequences of men being a social animal and not one that leaves in isolation.
So, it is not a matter of erradicate politics, which may prove impossible, but to be aware of them, fight them and tackle their more pernicious effects.
Internal politics are behaviors of members of an organization that motivate decissions to be taken in their favor when this is not always the best choice and, ultimately, permeate the whole organization to a degree that they become part of the organization internal culture. So, basically, some individuals start influencing decissions and set in motion a chain of favors that become the normal and when this happens, the organization become blind and do not realise that the wrong decissions are been taken all the time, so, the “tumor” spreads and because everyone wishes to receive favors, they adhere to the same “modus operandi”, creating more damage. Ultimately, and it can be a matter of years, the desease is all over the place and the organization pass, weather it is an Empire, a Country a Multinational Company or an small corporation. It is matter of size and time, but the malignant effects are the same.
Which are the consequences of politics?. First, the best decissions are not taken but, instead those presented or supported by the influencers. Second, as the organization creates a precedent, most of its members try the same approach. Third, over the months and years, sometime decades, the organization loose its edge against its natural competitors, it looses talent that move to fairer pastures and, ultimately, it looses tons of money due to wrong investments or spending.
What to do?. To fight it with all the strength and from the top to bottom. How?. To stick to the original idea and the common sense which was to build an organization that grows, shares wealth and other benefits and is sustainable over time. How?. With the right strategy, reataining and promoting the best talent, rewarding fairly and using the scarce resources for the best and most needed projects. If so simple, why politics kills some many organizations. Again, because they are in the human being. So, this time, a good leader must fight one constitutive part of his own people.