September 14, 2009

OSS on how to run a business

After a rather disastrous meeting a few days ago, I finally found the time to load up:

OSS's Simple Sabotage Field Manual

The Office of Strategic Services was the USA dirty tricks brigade of WWII, which later became the CIA. Their field manual was declassified and published, and, lo and behold, it includes some mighty fine advice. This manual was noticed to the world by the guy who presented the story of the CIA's "open intel" wiki, he thought it relevant I guess.

Sections 11, 12 are most important to us, the rest concentrating on the physical spectrum of blowing up stuff. Onwards:

(11) General Interference with Organizations and Production

(a) Organizations and Conferences

(1) Insist on doing everything through "channels." Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to, expedite decisions.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(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 reopen the question of the advisability of that decision.

(7) Advocate "caution." Be "reasonable" and urge your fellow-conferees to be "reasonable" 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.

Read the full sections 11,12 and for reference, also the entire manual. As some have suggested, it reads like a modern management manual, perhaps proving that people don't change over time!

Posted by iang at September 14, 2009 09:42 PM | TrackBack

Isn't it called "Denial of Service"?

Posted by: Philipp at September 15, 2009 07:45 PM
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