The Corporate Guerrilla Warfare

stock-photo-guerrilla-warfare-meaning-freedom-fighters-and-terrorist-335343062Corporate guerrillas create specific challenges for today’s senior management. They would always take an opposite viewpoint during team meetings, often being an obstacle to team harmony.

It is vital to restrict their negative functions in the workplace. However, the leadership team must also use their natural determination and originality to drive the organizational transformation initiatives.

There is a prospect that within any organization a quiet battle is taking place; one fought with unconventional methods by unknown soldiers.

For e.g., if a senior employee gets passed for a promotion when a new employee is appointed as a manager, the individual would continue to work, but would keep complaining to anyone who would listen. The concerned senior employee would identify non-performing employees and create an alliance with them.

Lessons from military tactics

Management gurus have derived valuable information from the warfare. The word Guerrilla in Spanish means “little war” and refers to asymmetrical fighting, particularly against massive armies.

Guerrilla warfare usually persists for a long duration, impacting reserves and mental capability. It calls for a complete determination from the concerned personnel. Hence, it is a nightmare for defence strategists, political stakeholders, and corporate leaders.


There is no distinct strategy against guerrilla warfare that would be successful in all scenarios.

However, there are some common observations that could be useful in selecting a strategy.

Often, a direct conflict would not be effective. The most optimal approach is to develop a scenario which would make guerrilla warfare unsuccessful.

Guerrillas are effective only in firms without a proper communication channel. However, through proper mentoring and a transparent communication framework, over a time, the guerrillas would be secluded and unsuccessful.

Methods to tackle a guerrilla:

  • Identify the guerrilla being dealt with.
  • Expose the mafia-guerrilla.
  • Isolate the specialized complainer.
  • Ensure the efficient guerrillas have enough responsibilities.
  • Evade direct conflict.
  • Develop a proper communication system.

Positive guerrillas are inventive, determined and straightforward. The combative strengths of an organization are influenced by the capability to secure expertise and manage it better than the competitors. The characteristics of a guerrilla workforce are a useful asset and must be managed properly.

Guerrillas normally drive others to be innovative, challenge the traditional ideas. The leadership team must leverage these attributes of a guerrilla to create a business synergy.

The guerrilla must be permitted to develop new tactics while being controlled in a safe environment.

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