Daily Archives: June 14, 2008

Are Your Managers Sabotaging Your Business?

At the recent Enterprise 2.0 Conference there was a presentation by Don Burke and Sean Dennehey from the CIA that’s been making a lot of buzz in the blogsphere (on sites such as Joho and Boing Boing). It seems that, as part of their presentation, they cited a page from the (now declassified) 1944 Simple Sabotage Field Manual on General interference with Organizations and Production. This section had eight tips on organization and conference sabotage, seven tips for office workers, ten tips for employees, and fourteen tips for managers.

But the section for managers is the best. It says:

  1. Demand written orders
  2. “Misunderstand” orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can.
  3. Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don’t deliver it until it is completely ready.
  4. Don’t order new working materials until your current stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will mean a shutdown.
  5. Order high-quality materials which are hard to get. If you don’t get them, argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior work.
  6. In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that the important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers of poor machines.
  7. Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw. Approve other defective parts whose flaws are not visible to the naked eye.
  8. Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials will be sent to the wrong place in the plant.
  9. When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
  10. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  11. Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.
  12. Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
  13. Apply all regulations to the last letter.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like your average manager to me!