We shape our own existence, and we define our own experience. While that might not be a popular sentiment, it’s no less real nor true. The biggest challenge is that we are often fundamentally aware of the underlying beliefs that create our experience. If we want to make a difference in the world, we may first need to make a difference in ourselves.
Leading change is a challenging undertaking. In particular, we must as individuals find the confidence to lead in the face of indifference, uncertainty and sometimes outright opposition. One of the key influences on our motivation, and on our will to lead, is a curious quality called agency.
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.