Competition drives capitalism. Competition fuels innovative thinking and promotes business success. Friendly competition among employees can sharpen their skills and improve their drive. Striving against internal or external opposition strengthens resolve, trains perseverance and provides learning opportunities.
Without competition we will never know how far we are able to go.
However, competition can be detrimental to your company’s success.
I recently read an illustration of monkeys who were discouraged (sprayed by a hose) to not attempt to get bananas atop a ladder. The monkeys would then beat down any new monkey who tried to climb the ladder to retrieve the bananas. I believe this illustration is a metaphor for the corporate ladder and how employees will beat down anyone who strives for what is unobtainable to them. I shall call this office politics.
When this scenario takes place (and I am sure most of you, if not all of you, have experienced this at one time or another), it is difficult for your company or department to be successful. As employees scurry around fighting for power and control, they leave behind the collective goals and steer away from being effective and efficient. Lack of unity and progress develops into a stalled state and this is detrimental to success.
New employees will have a difficult time assimilating into the group and staying focused on their tasks. Receiving tasks from multiple sources (see Office Space) will be confusing and contradictory. Someone recently mentioned to me that it would be like watching a tennis match and waiting to see who the winner is.
If office politics are getting in the way of success where you are at, then it is time for a leader to step in and make some changes. It is time to set the boat upright again. It may require assigning specific roles or laying out ground rules. It may require personnel changes. It may require action on your part or it may not.
Whichever solution is followed, it is clear that something has to happen to maintain progress and future success.
Nathaniel Hoyt is the owner of this shindig, and loves all things design and marketing. He has even won an award for the design and development of websites. As much as he loves working for his clients though, Nathaniel needs to take time away every now and again and remodel a house.