Office Politics Will Undermine Company Culture

I listened to a founder discuss the dynamics of his company recently. He raised capital and the business is growing aggressively. He’s adding to the team and giving more responsibility to legacy team members. There’s more hierarchy (a good thing) but also more politics, which the founder hates. Decision-making has slowed, and receiving individual credit is prioritized over teamwork. They’re playing the Game of Thrones.

I haven’t worked in a large organization in many years, but I remember that when I did, the politics were apparent. I didn’t like navigating that environment. It felt like a popularity contest. I ended up leaving for a variety of reasons (not just that), but the experience stuck with me. When I started my company, I wanted to avoid politics. I think we accomplished that.

Culture is a key ingredient in success. I think this founder is right to be concerned about office politics eroding the culture of his company. I hope he can get his team thinking with a “we” mindset again.