Think about the last meeting your business conducted, and hold on for that question. First, read this list. It may look like an informal set of rules your organization adheres to when trying to accomplish something as a group:
- 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, resolutions.
- Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
- Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid 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 lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
Eerily familiar, no?
You may (or may not) be surprised to find out that these actually come from a 1944 publication titled “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” presented by the US Office of Strategic Services (a proto-CIA).