A gentleman that I have the privilege of speaking with from time to time recently corrected me firmly but importantly on how one gets stuff done in business (or politics).
Should I, when pursuing a change initiative (as I do every few months at work), do additional semi-unrelated changes along with mine. My response was that I clearly should not. My reasoning was, correctly, that every additional piece of work you put into a change initiative distracts from the primary goal, and thus decreases the likelihood that the important change will succeed.
However, my friend pointed out that while my reasoning was correct, my conclusion was wrong. His correction: If I am pushing a change program, and I try to push it by myself...politically, it will almost certainly fail. The ONLY way to get a change program implemented is to create a coalition where EACH of the players is having their personal goals met by the coalition. Almost exclusively, the way this happens is that each of the members signs on after being assigned "pork" or "earmarks" for their personal goals.
Coalitions get stuff done in groups/companies. Individuals with "pure" purposes don't. If one wishes to be in a company, one should be coalitional. If one cannot be properly coalitional, one should not be in a company.
Politics is the art of getting stuff done in a group. The key to remember is...most people have rather narrow interests. They have needs and goals and wants and opinions. What you want/need/think is simply not on the list of their important issues. And they are most likely following the "best" method of determining opinions: "believe what everyone else believes".
I hate to say it...but truth is not a real player in either the business world or the political world. Human wants are. In the world of coalitional politics, the only issue is "do enough people get what they want" to make my bit succeed.
Best piece of learning about organizations I've had in a long time. I've had this silly notion that "truth", "efficiency" and "ethics" mattered somehow for a long long time. Now that I've gotten that notion out of the way, I might be able to get some of my organizational goals accomplished. Or else find a place where there are folks whose goals are more in line with mine.