Games At Work: How to Recognize and Reduce Office Politics

Overview

As long as people have worked together, they have engaged inpolitical games. Motivated by short-term gains—promotions,funding for a project, budget increases, status with theboss—people misuse their time and energy. Today, when manyorganizations are fighting for their lives and scarce resourcesthere is increased stress and anxiety, and employees are engagingin games more intensely than ever before.

Organizational experts Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read arguethat office ...

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Overview

As long as people have worked together, they have engaged inpolitical games. Motivated by short-term gains—promotions,funding for a project, budget increases, status with theboss—people misuse their time and energy. Today, when manyorganizations are fighting for their lives and scarce resourcesthere is increased stress and anxiety, and employees are engagingin games more intensely than ever before.

Organizational experts Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read arguethat office games—those manipulative behaviors that distractemployees from achieving their mission—are both conscious andunconscious. They can and should be effectively minimized. In Gamesat Work, the authors offer tools to diagnose the most common gamesthat people play and outline a three-step process to effectivelydeal with them. Some of the games they explore include:

  • Gotcha: identifying and communicating others' mistakesin an effort to win points from higher-ups
  • Gossip: engaging in the classic rumor mill to gainpolitical advantage
  • Sandbagging: purposely low-balling sales forecasts as anegotiating ploy
  • Gray Zone: deliberately fostering ambiguity or lack ofclarity about who should do what to avoid accountability

Filled with real-world, entertaining examples of games inaction, Games at Work is an invaluable resource for managersand all professionals who want to substitute straight talk forgames in their organizations and boost productivity, commitment,innovation, and—ultimately—the bottom line.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There's nothing funny about mind games in the workplace, say the authors of this sober-minded guide to understanding underhanded office maneuvers. Simply waking up to games people play and rejecting them is a big part of the battle for executives, say the authors."
—Andrea Sachs, TIME magazine, April 30, 2009
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470262009
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/20/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,452,083
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mauricio Goldstein is the founder of Pulsus ConsultingGroup. His passion is to catalyze organizational transformations bycreating a deeper connection of people and organizations to theiressence. Mauricio has applied his innovative approach to a numberof Fortune 500 companies, such as AstraZeneca, Cargill, J&J,Nestlé, PepsiCo, Sodexo, and Schering-Plough, in LatinAmerica, North America, Europe, and Africa.

Philip Read has worked in a number of senior roles inhuman resources for Fortune 100 companies over the last twenty-twoyears. He has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, the UnitedStates, China, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain. Philip has won anumber of awards for his work, including the PriceWaterhouseCoopersand Linkage, Inc. "Most Innovative HR Department" award as part ofthe leadership team of HR for Dow Chemical.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Kevin Cashman).

Introduction.

1 LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

What Games Are and How They Are Played in Organizations.

2 PLAYING TO LOSE.

The Negative Impact of Games on Core Business Activities.

3 FERTILE GROUND.

Why Games Are So Pervasive in Modern Corporations.

4 EYES WIDE SHUT.

Why People Don’t Deal with Games at Work.

5 AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE.

Awakening to Games.

6 COUNT ME OUT.

Choosing Not to Play.

7 GAME, INTERRUPTED.

Executing Your Choice.

8 INTERCONNECTIONS.

How Games Are Linked In to an Ecology.

9 THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE.

Toward a Games-Conscious Model of Transformation.

10 GAMES AT THE TOP.

The Impact of Playing in the Executive Suite.

11 A SUSTAINABLE GOAL.

Transforming Organizations in Small but Signifi cant Ways.

Appendix: List of Games.

References.

Acknowledgments.

About the Authors.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2009

    A constructive and fun book

    I have had a lot of fun reading Games at Work and it definitely makes me re-think how to improve communication!
    Mixing theory, reality based examples and practical methodology, Games at Work is a tool for who wants to reduce office politics and more genuinely, for who wants to work better in an healthier environment.
    I particularly enjoyed the way it links the Games, mapping them, detecting the "Games DNA" and preparing the action plan to dismantle this informal breaks for the company.
    With their research, Goldstein and Read have developed a new concept. I really like the idea of their website www.games-at-work.com
    It gives more info and continues the reflection beyond the book through the discussion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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