Blog Business World Review of Dear Office-Politics
Dear Office-Politics: The Game Everyone Plays
Author: Franke James
By Wayne Hurlbert, founder of Blog Business World, a leading blog about current business books.
“Office politics crosses all cultures, and respects no boundaries. It seeps into organizations of all shapes and sizes. Neither gender can claim greater prowess, or ignorance of office politics. It gets under everyone’s skin. You can’t escape it. But you can (and should) learn to play the game”, writes speaker and author on office politics, the environment, and social change Franke James, in her fascinating and 2010 Axiom Award winning book Dear Office-Politics: the game everyone plays. The author employs a game within a book format, to describe the most frequent and troubling issues that arise in office politics and their effects on organizations and their employees.
Franke James recognizes that office politics are found in every organization, large or small. Since they are inescapable, the author and the book’s eight featured guest experts, share ideas to avoid being trampled by shrewd office politics players. Because the entire concept of office politics leads to some very tricky ethical and moral dilemmas, Franke James has developed the unique concept of turning a book about office politics situations into a game. In a game format, players can assume different personae, take positions on issues that they would usually avoid, and learn through game activities how to prevent office politics from derailing their ideas, projects, or careers. Because the issues surrounding the very concept of office politics are very sensitive, the game play technique provides a workable, and very practical teaching tool for anyone, regardless of their position or organization.
Franke James understands that office politics affects everyone in an organization, but not all employees share the same level of skill or awareness of the implications. Along with her guest experts, Franke James shares wisdom and practical advice to the most perplexing office politics problems. Using real world letters, written to the adviser Dear Office-Politics over a seven year period, the book as a game is based on actual problems and dilemmas that arise in offices every day.
The game format is simple and fun to play:
1. Read the dilemma aloud
2. Offer advice in the form of a solution
3. Score the round by rating the advice
4. Win the game with the highest score
The Power of the Book
For me, the power of the book is how Franke James combines wit, important information and ideas from guest experts into an engaging and educational game about ethics. The author doesn’t teach Machiavellian trickery and deceit. Instead, Franke James provides real life questions that place caring and ethical people into serious dilemmas every day. Through the role playing exercises that are part of the game, people are able to examine the many situations in a constructive way. The resulting responses to the questions bring out creative and ethical solutions to many of the trickiest office politics quandaries. In the end, the best ideas are the ones that work in a positive way for the organization, its employees, and for society as a whole. The thought provoking game format requires critical thinking, and a clear understanding that doing the right thing usually brings forward the best possible business, personal, and societal result.
I highly recommend the ground breaking game within a book Dear Office-Politics: the game everyone plays by Franke James, to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the ethical dilemmas faced with office politics situations in a safe and non-threatening way. Since all organizations, regardless of size or type experience office politics, this game book provides a powerful hands on teaching tool for creative resolution of ethical decision making.
“The lavish and often very funny illustrations are a delightful added bonus feature of the book.”
Read.. Dear Office-Politics, and play the game within a book so that you won’t lose in the rough and tumble real world of office politics. The discovery that the most ethical, collaborative, and win win solutions are a winning formula for the organization, the employees, and society as a whole makes this book a definite must read. The book is well deserving of its award winning status.