Sunday, 14 August 2016

Is your organization being sabotaged?

“Just imagine how much you’d get done, if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work” Seth Godin

Today a friend shared a link to the archives of US Central Intelligence Agency, which has a Simple Sabotage Field Manual that was published in 1944. The purpose of the manual is “is to characterize simple sabotage, to outline its possible effects, and to present suggestions for inciting and executing it”. Sabotage is the act of deliberately destroying, damaging, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage, and this manual focuses on the simple everyday acts that ordinary people can perform to disrupt and damage their organizations.

An interesting section of the manual (Section 11 General Interference with Organizations and Production) was brought to my attention. This section basically outlines how meetings should be run to sabotage the performance of an organization. The eight practices to follow are listed below.

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 re-open 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 decision - raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Is your organization being sabotaged? What did you score out of eight? Please let know me know by posting a comment below.

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