Clever / Wise / Inept / Innocent

A quick and worthwhile excerpt from a newsletter from Tom Geraghty which I subscribe to:

It would be lovely to live in a world without organisational politics, but it’s unlikely to happen: power structures, hierarchies, vested interests and incentives all contribute to political organisational dynamics, and if we’re blind to them, we do ourselves and our team members a disservice. I’ve used this model (From Baddeley, S. and James, K., 1987) of the Fox, Owl, Donkey and Sheep before, where it can help us recognise the political behaviours of ourselves and others in organisations, and where we may ourselves be blind to politics or not acting with integrity

And this article from the OPM (now Traverse, I believe) is an excellent deeper dive into the various behaviours of the different personas. It’s clear from the example below that the Wise Owl is the persona that best facilitates psychological safety, acting with both political awareness and personal integrity.