June 12, 2008

Government Manual Suggests Using Bureaucracy as Sabotage

A declassified 1944 field manual from the US Strategic Services, explains how to train people to sabotage their workplace. The list of suggestions include what have become common management practices six decades later:
  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  • 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.
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  • Haggle over precise wordings of com­munications, minutes, resolutions.
  • Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reason­able” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
  • Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the juris­ diction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
(Enterprise 2.0, via BoingBoing.)

Just a funny perspective on some of the things Ombuds often work against.

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