How to sabotage and slowdown an organization…

Larry Ferlazzo retweeted this message and as I thought it to be both funny and too often correct I wondered if it’s actually true that it stems from a 1944 CIA manual:

For better reading:

  1. Insist on doing everything through channels. Never permit short-cuts to be taken 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. 
  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 and resolutions. 
  6. Refer back to a matter decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open 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 [it] lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

But is this genuine? First of all: did the CIA exist in 1944? No, but a forerunner actually did. And… you can find the original document on the CIA website not with the CIA being mentioned in the document (what would have been bizarre), but with the correct name of the forerunner. Download the document here and check page 28.

Now I only wonder if the people I’ve seen doing this were just dumb or spies?

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Filed under At work, Education, Funny, Myths

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