Career-minded employees at big organisations know perfectly well that office politics trump talent and productivity every time. There are generally two approaches to take, depending on a worker’s appetite for risk. The first is to be nice to everyone, hoping that whoever gets promoted remembers you as one of the good guys. The higher-risk, potentially higher-return strategy is to hitch to one horse and hope it gallops all the way to the top.

But if a chosen horse stumbles, as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief, did in May, do you switch or wait by its side? Political friends of DSK who chose the former must have choked on the news that the case against him was in danger of collapsing. His loyal friends will be ecstatic. The finger-pointing and back-pedalling going on right now must be intense.

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