Shareholders ask an executive to use a big bag of money to start a business and make a profit for them. The executive decides their strategy to deliver the expected return and starts to build the organisation. The executive will recruit department heads, give them a share of the money and set them objectives. Each department then gives budgets to managers to play their part in the overall team effort. The original power (shareholder funds) has now been distributed formally and the business is ready for action. This is just an illustration of the basic concept of organisational power — it never happens this cleanly in real life
As the business matures, organisational power evolves. The executives realise they need to put in place some checks and balances so they recruit a compliance officer. They bestow upon him/her a remit to make sure that everyone is compliant, and provide the role with the means to force compliance. Again this is an illustration of the concept of how power is formally created for the good of the business.
Of course, the executives are not always controlling organisational power — even if they think they are. Ambitious department heads may start “empire building” or protecting their power bases. Cliques and cabals will form, alliances will be forged and power begins to ebb and flow around the organisation. Thus we arrive at the fascinating dynamic of power in action. If you can start to see it, you can start to use it more effectively.
Colin Gautrey is an author, coach, and trainer who specialises in the practical use of power and influence in large organisations. He has 25 years’ experience helping middle/senior professionals to survive, thrive and enjoy their work.
If you are ready to develop your influencing capability, become a member of Breakthrough Influence. If you are serious about becoming highly influential, fast, engage with Colin and he will help you get there in the most effective way possible.
Power, Strategy and Organisational Structure
Power is generally agreed to be the capacity to influence or get things done. Consequently, it has a massive impact on the decisions which an organisation makes. The more power you have, the more likely you are to be able to realise your objectives.
So, it is natural that individuals and groups will be seeking power. Usually, the power structures within an organisation emerge as a result of strategy, performance, environment and ambition. Rarely are they created deliberately to match the strategy of the venture. Therefore, power is more of an output than an input.
Yet, this is a little bizarre when you… CONTINUE READING
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How to Be a Powerful Leader without Alienating People
Once you get into a position of power, being powerful can be a joy and a short-term career highlight ― and no, I am not referring to Mr Entwistle at the BBC, tempting though it may be. Instead, I’m talking about you and what could happen if you are not careful.
I can promise you there will be no surprises here, because you have probably seen it happen before with other powerful leaders. However, as you rise in power, it is all too easy to forget this list. So, treat this as a handy reminder as you start to stride down the corridors of power.
- Abusing your power. Namely, forcing or manipulating people to do something that they don’t want to do or, if they had full knowledge, probably shouldn’t do. Instead, focus on.. CONTINUE READING