Strategies for Gaining Organizational Power

Strategies for Gaining
Organizational Power
• Potential to Influence
• “being able to get things done”
Need for Power?
• Organizations are becoming more flatter
– Fewer Managers, more potential to influence
• Decentralized flow of Information
– More discretion to employees
• “Boundaryless” organizations
– Rapid shift in authority relationships
• More people work in small industries
– Highly visible work and again potential to
How to get Power?
• Personal attributes
– Personal Power
• Position Characteristics
– Positional Power
Personal Power
• Expertise
– Task relevant knowledge or experience
• Bill Gates, Steve Jobs
• Personal Attraction
– Friendship, charisma, agreeable behavior, physical
• John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Lady Diana
• Effort
– Higher than expected commitment of time
• Gordon McGovern (CEO Campbell Soup), Herb Kelleher (SW)
• Legitimacy
– Behavior consistent with organizational values
• Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft)
Personal Power
• Basically boils down to
– Ability
• Expertise, Effort (Reliable, Dependable)
– Motivation
• Attraction, Legitimacy (Likable, Acceptable)
Position Power
• Centrality
– Expanding network of communication
– Information routed through you
– Serving as source of information to others
• Alan Brewer (HP)
Position Power
• Flexibility
– Reducing routine tasks
– Expanding task variety and novelty
– Initiating new ideas
– Getting involved in new projects
– Participating in early stages of decision
– Seeking unusual and design oriented jobs
• Research Labs (Xerox PARC)
Position Power
• Visibility
– Expanding contact with senior people
– Making oral presentations of work
– Inviting senior managers to help recognize
important accomplishments within group
– Sending personal congratulatory messages
• Jean C. Jones (Intel)
• Kathleen Kallmer (Beartrice Company)
• Winston Churchill (UK)
Position Power
• Relevance or Criticality
– Expanding domain of work
– Becoming involved in activities central to
organization’s top priorities
• Udi Manber
Head, [email protected]

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