Have your bureaucrat coworkers been sabotaging your productivity using spy agency tactics?
Here are the eight tactics the Office of Strategy Services (OSS) recommended for tripping up an Axis agency from the inside:
“Insist on doing everything through channels. Never permit short-cuts to be taken 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.”
“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 a matter 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 [it] lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.”
These tactics proved “incredibly subtle, and devastatingly destructive.” Alas, they still are. But “rooting out these corrosive behaviors isn’t so simple,” the authors note, because “they are often mutant excesses” of habits that are actually helpful, like involving coworkers in decisions that affect them.