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Organizations and Politics

Organizations and Politics

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Published by Raju Swamy
Organizations and Politics: Politics rises proportionately with rise in Uncertainty and Stagnation…A True Story (Raju Swamy: September 14, 2009)
Organizations and Politics: Politics rises proportionately with rise in Uncertainty and Stagnation…A True Story (Raju Swamy: September 14, 2009)

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Published by: Raju Swamy on Sep 14, 2009
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Organizations and Politics: Politics rises proportionatelywith rise in Uncertainty and Stagnation…A True Story(Raju Swamy: September 14, 2009)
 There were eight people in an elevator of a well-known multi-storied commercialbuilding of again a well-known city. These eight people worked for differentorganizations but were familiar to each other because the daily routine of morningentry and evening exit was almost the same, every day. Not necessarily together inthe same elevator.On a normal end-of-a-busy-day evening, between Floors 13 and 14, the elevatorstopped. Elevator stopping in-between floors had happened before, but for a fewseconds only, and not very often. So not really a problem: it was 5.43 pm.At 5.43, the Elevator Group, as we will now identify them, was a reasonably happylot. End of a normal stressful work day, and hopefully, the beginning of a de-stressing evening and night before another normal stressful tomorrow. They werequiet, and expectant.At 5.45, the elevator had not moved. The alarm switch was pressed. Mobiles did notwork in the elevator. The Elevator Group now spontaneously reacted with mutualhope and encouragement: “these things happen, you know. I was stuck like this lastyear and……we came out….there had been a minor short circuit which had been setright…etc.”It was now 5.48. There had been no response to their pressing the alarm button. Noreassuring noises outside. Fortunately, the elevator light was on. Still anatmosphere of mutual hope, but fidgety.At 5.51, the first signs of enquiring restlessness: “what was wrong….neverhappened for this long….,”etc.At 5.52, the Leader of the Elevator Group emerged, from among the eight. Cheerful,bubbling, comforting, experienced, knowledgeable, definite….made everybody feelthat the situation was absolutely normal in such a circumstance. Yes, a littlediscomfort, but not to worry. Motivated some small chat, smiles, and even laughter. The minutes now seemed to get longer.At 5.58, the Leader was looked up to expectantly for an answer. He had none. Infact he was irritated at people expecting him to know everything! There were noother claims to Leadership.At 6.01, the Elevator Group was Leaderless, Answerless, Hope-less: is this …elevator going to move? When??1
2At 6.06, there was universal unhappiness, that such tough luck had befallen all of ‘them’: The Elevator Group. Mutual Sympathy. Lessening Hope. They were alsobeginning to feel a little hot, and sweaty. And discomfort and worry could no longerbe hidden. Why was nothing happening?At 6.10, one of the Elevator Group Members as if revealing a triumphant discoverysaid that this elevator’s capacity was actually Seven, NOT eight! And because therewas an eighth person on board, the elevator was stuck and giving the rest a badtime.At 6.11, a feeling as if a lifeboat had been thrown at them. Yes, that must be it. Butwho is No.8?By 6.15, there was no Elevator Group. Instead, there were eight suspicious,unhappy, angry individuals. Who is the culprit? And why could the culprit not havewaited for the next trip??At 6.18, somebody threw up a guess that the elevator stoppage was deliberate….At 6.19 the elevator moved. There was dead silence. And mutual avoidance of looks. The small sign which was now visible when one of them moved towards thefront said: ‘Elevator Capacity: 10’.If in 36 minutes of uncertainty (and consequent ‘stagnation’), if eight normal peoplecould begin to let imagination run wild, and develop mistrust towards each other….
Raju SwamyPrincipal Consultant& Advisor to Entrepreneurs & Family BusinessPROMAG Consultancy ServicesApt. 206 Brigade Rathna42 Ranga Rao RoadShankarapuramBangalore - 560004 INDIATel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498Email:rajupromag@hotmail.com
Promoting Management Action for Growth…. since 1985 

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