Friday, June 13, 2008

How to Sabotage an Organization

In January 1944, the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. put out a field manual on sabotage. On page 28 of that manual, a section starts entitled, “General Interference with Organizations and Production.” These are a few of the suggestions in that section:

  1. Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  2. Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.
  3. When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.
  4. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  5. Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
  6. Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to reopen the question of the advisability of that decision.
  7. Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
  8. Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Remember that these are recommended ways to sabotage an organization…

(via Boing Boing)


At 6/14/2008 10:27:00 AM , Anonymous Chris Kauffman said...

1944 eh? No wonder they are called the greatest generation. They understood these things over 60 years ago. All I can ask is, what are we waiting for?


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