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Simple Sabotage Field Manual

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This was too good not to send!  Have a quick look at this guide in the 1963 Office of Strategic Services Simple Sabotage Field Manual.  Thanks Tony Lena for sending.

A how to on “General Interference with Organizations and Production”:

  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.”  Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.  

The encouragement here, and the implication of course, is that silos interfere with and slow down production in the organization.  We know from research out of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania the decision velocity is one of the top four (4) traits of great CEOs and leaders.  To sabotage an organization, the OSS recommends “never permitting short-cuts.”

  • 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.

Translation: lead by committee.  Hmmm?

  • 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 jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Translation: to interfere with the organization and its production, play it safe, and ask permission for everything.  Raise questions about whether your decisions are allowed or not, or if someone above you should approve first.  This is diametrically opposed to what we know is the most efficient, engaging, and empowering way to run a team and organization: the use of decision space, decision parameters, leader’s guidance, and critical information requirements.

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