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Part II: Leadership > Working the Org

Chapter 9. Working the Org

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead (1901–1978)

Getting things done in an organization depends heavily on your ability to “work the org,” or collaborate across boundaries and negotiate with others to make projects and events happen. The smaller the organization, the easier this is, and that’s why large organizations seem so bureaucratic. The problem of getting things done in an organization isn’t just one of logistics; it’s more one of competing objectives. Everyone in the organization is driving toward a goal, hoping to make a good impression at what they’ve been assigned to deal with. Often when you need something from someone else, it’s at the expense of what he or she is focused on. You might be asking for someone’s time, staff, or physical resources. Assuming that your colleagues are decent people and that they even like you, why should they risk their own success to help yours? The challenges of working the organization grow dramatically with the size of the organization, but I believe organizations of every size, even the smallest startups, struggle with these dynamics. Having the skills to work the org is critical to your career success.


  

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