Book review: Office Politics

Book review: Office Politics
Pick this book up if you work in media, advertising, or the public sector. Otherwise, use it for lighting fires.

You may start reading this book believing that your company is filled with the loveliest human beings ever to get their timesheets stamped. However, it’s highly likely you’ll finish it convinced that they’re a bunch of sadistic psychopaths out to get you, to have you fired or otherwise oversee some flavour of your ritual public humiliation.

The author argues that certain occupations (hello, media) attract the nutters: “The more that there is a measurable output to the work for which someone is paid, the less opportunity there is for triadic functioning to prosper,” the author writes. “It also helps if there is no ambiguity regarding authorship of specific pieces of work.”

James cites the examples of an engineer who has been assigned the task of mending a piece of software; manufacturing industries, he claims, can’t conceal levels of incompetence. The further up the food chain you get, the more important office political skills become.

Pick this book up if you work in media (particularly television), advertising or in the public sector. Otherwise, use it for lighting fires.