Everyday Knowledge Work or Sabotage  

In a video presentation at Enterprise 2.0, two of the CIA Intellipedia folks mention a document on their Wiki that was put together by the OSS (precursor to the CIA) which describes how to best sabotage an organization:

(1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.â€Â? Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2) Make “speeches.â€Â? Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “pointsâ€Â? by long anecdotes and accounts of per­sonal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patrioticâ€Â? comments.

(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and considera­tion.â€Â? 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.â€Â? Be “reasonableâ€Â? and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reason­ableâ€Â? and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

(8) 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.

Links to the doc and related information found here.

The scary part is that most of these sound like every day life as a knowledge worker. Are we living in the TV show the Mole? Are some of our fellow knowledge workers actually very cunning saboteurs?

It also makes me realize how easy it is to sabotage any change.


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