Sunday, January 28, 2007

Clients and Office Politics


David Maister, who has a distinguished record in advising professional service firms (I frequently delve into his book on the subject), has written two posts to generate some comments on the touchy issue of how to handle client politics.

Here’s
the first and here’s the second.

A point he touches upon: What to do when you feel that you're being used as a weapon?

There is no easy answer. One of the complicating factors in the office political wars is there can be a legion of stakeholders depending upon your conduct and not all of them are scoundrels. The tricky part is you may not learn of the factions until you're well into the project. It can help to have an escape clause in the initial agreement but clients may regard such language with suspicion, especially if they know you're about to be manipulated into performing an unpleasant task.
Like most swamps, they are easier to stay out of than to get out of.

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