Thursday, 21 April 2011

Different Words for Politics

One topic that, in my experience, I’ve not come across too often in discussions with people interest in the occult is politics. That’s not to say that I have never discussed it, but I can count the number of occasions on one hand.

Politics in general (whether related to the occult or otherwise) is not something that I take any joy in researching. However, since we do not live in a vacuum I have in recent years come to see politics and economics are very important factors that influence my life. Hence my list of interests has expanded to include geopolitics but at the moment it’s struggling to hold my attention.

In order to have some understanding of politics as it affects and is influenced by occult movements - I read the following book (which I highly recommend):

Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen” by Gary Lachman

Project Management Terminology for Politics
From a project management point of view, politics and the way that things are done are described in the following terms in the 3rd edition of Project Management Institute: Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMI: PMBoK)

Enterprise Environmental Factors [Output/Input]

Any or all external environmental factors and internal organizational environmental factors that surround or influence the project’s success. These factors are from any or all of the enterprises involved in the project, and include organizational culture and structure, infrastructure, existing resources, commercial databases, market conditions and project management software.

In laymen’s terms, think of teams competing for projects, budget, and key personnel in an organization. Also things like old boys’ networks (yes they do really exist) and culture (for example, tribalism or firefighting is our way of life). These are all things that will affect you if you are working with a group whether as a practitioner or magic, commerce or both.

“The way that things are done around here” in official PM Language is called:

Organizational Process Assets [Output/Input]

Any or all process related assets, from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that are or can be used to influence the project’s success. These process assets include formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. The process assets also include the organization’s knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information.

This means “how it’s done”. Is there a specific route to advancement? Are records kept of past failures to try to improve the way that things are done? How flexible is an organization to change?

Audit of Spheres of Influence
Now you might be asking, as a practitioner of either: magic, mysticism and or project management why should I care about organizational politics or organizational processes?

The simple answer is that you can up to a point ignore and quite happily live your life in ignorance of the greater political and economic view of your life’s surroundings and influences.

What I’d like to challenge you to think about though is, do you understand how politics and influence works now in your life right now?

Unless you have done an analysis of the power players in your life right now, how will you know if you are trying to gain more power and influence over yourself and others via management or magic techniques that it has the desired outcome both short and long term?