While we have explored what actually constitutes agency, and illustrated it with examples, a fundamental question is how it emerges. How exactly do individuals develop the ability to exercise agency?
Politics is a challenging concept. We tend to view the term ‘organizational politics’ negatively, often seeing it as competitive, antagonistic, manipulative and dysfunctional. Certainly organizational politics can be all of these things, but it doesn’t have to be.
In a post last week, I explored in depth the question of what constitutes “agency.” I build on that here as a result of a bit of awesome serendipity, courtesy of Apple’s Tim Cook.
While most organizations claim to have formal processes for project initiation, in a large number of instances these do not lead to better initiation decisions. The challenge is what to do when faced with ineffective process.
A question that was raised in the book launch was whether or not these ideas were mutually exclusive. The specific query was, “Don’t most organizations use all three methods? I can see my organization doing all three, each with specific projects and departments.”
A question that has emerged several times as I have presented information related to my book and the research that supports it is, “What is agency?” Given the title of the book, agency is a pretty fundamental and important concept.