A major financial institution realized that a successful integration after a merger called for savvy skills throughout the organization. Through ongoing Organizational Savvy Skills workshops, managers and individual contributors alike developed critical capacities for reading the changing political landscape, recognizing the shifting power structures (both formal and informal), and understanding emerging cultural norms. No longer naive to the political realities and challenges of a highly matrixed, constantly changing organization, leaders at all levels expanded their skills of strategic influence while maintaining their integrity.
Managers responsible for technical operations recognized that their effectiveness requires much more than technical expertise. They learned to read the political waters they are navigating and understand the importance of aligning technical solutions with the business priorities of key leaders. Rather than avoiding politics, HR business partners learned to pay attention to the unwritten rules and cultural norms as well as the written policies if they are to effectively support and influence business leaders and practices. And leaders from a broad range of functional areas let go of knee-jerk adverse reactions to the notion of entering the political arena, and developed the skills of astutely identifying and assessing stakeholders enabling them to lobby for change in a way that is strategic, effective, and ethical.