Now, this is a topic with which we should all be concerned. It seems that way back in WW II, the forerunner of the CIA published a document for the underground in Nazi-occupied territories on how to upset Nazi war efforts. Believe it or not, many of these activities are still being carried on today in many companies in the free world by unknowing and well-meaning employees who do not know that they are unknowingly harming rather than helping the company. Listed below are some of the "suggestion" from that WW II document:
Managers and Supervisors:
- Demand written orders for everything
- "Misunderstand" orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence of such orders. Quibble over them when you can.
- Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don't deliver until it is completely ready.
- Don't order new working materials until your present stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will cause a shutdown.
- Order high-quality materials that are hard to get. If you don't get them, argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior products.
- In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. Always see that the important jobs are assigned to the inefficient workers of poor machines.
- Insist on perfect work on relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those that have the slightest flaw. Approve others that whose flaws that are not visible to the naked eye.
- Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials are sent to the wrong places in the plant.
- When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
- To lower morale, and with it production, be pleased with inefficient worker; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly against their work.
- Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
- Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.
- Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, andso on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
- Apply all regulations to the last letter.
- Insist on doing everything through "channels". Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.'
- Make "speeches." Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your points by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate "patriotic" comments.
- 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 and resolutions.
- Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meetings and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
- Advocate "caution". Be unreasonable and urge your fellow-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoide 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 is within the jurisdiction of the group and whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
Bottom line: Do you know anyone like this? (We used to call such folks "anal-retentive".) Have you seen this kind of behavior in any of your meeting or office procedures? If so, try to pass this around and discourage it. Immediately. It might just possibly make for better office and/or meeting behaviour. Bon Chance!