Yep, every office has its politics and backwards ways of getting things done. The people that have been with the company a while usually understand these games that need to be played to get things done. But does that really help to get things done? How much time and energy, which equates to money, are wasted in corporations every day because you just can't have an open conversation about the right way to do things? I would hate to know what that number is.
I believe that the best way to deal with a problem is head on. It might not seem like the easiest way but usually that is because we as humans usually don't like confrontation or just aren't good at it so it gets personal. If you take the approach to have an honest conversation with someone when things aren't working I guarantee things will work out better and quicker.
Now, I am not advocating for "bull in the china shop" methodologies. There is still respect that is due to the people you are working with. But don't be afraid to say what you are honestly feeling and that your desire is not to attack someone or their idea. If it isn't about getting better then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. In the end, if everyone isn't on the same page for improving the company then the hard truth is it might be time to look for a place that does want to work together to get better