On 17 January 1944, the Office of the Strategic Services of the CIA issued the Simple Sabotage Field Manual. The manual remained classified for decades, becoming declassified in 2008.
The purpose of the manual was to present suggestions for inciting and executing sabotage.
The manual is full of 1940s references such as ‘axis nationals’, the latter no doubt falling victim to many of the manual’s methods.
The manual breaks methods down into the following categories:
What’s striking about this section of the manual is that it sounds like a lot of the dated management practices that plague large organisations today. These practices continue to sabotage their efforts when it comes to creating an environment where stuff gets done, people are motivated to go to work and the organisation can innovate at the pace required to keep up with change.
Find below some excerpts from the manual insofar as organisational interference is concerned and examples of how this shows up in many large organisations today.
In the immortal words of the one and only George Costanza, companies would be well served to “do the opposite” of whatever the manual suggests.
For the full Sabotage Manual head over to this link.
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This report draws on our work driving change at large companies as well as from thought leadership in the space of not just management literature, but also evolutionary biology, psychology and sociology, because in order to see things clearly and influence human behaviour, we need to think holistically.