Robert Heinlein wrote “Every generation thinks that it invented sex.” But, truth be told, there’s nothing new under the sun … at least with regard to human behavior. In case you think that everything that frustrates you about your organization’s lack of effectiveness is unique to it, take a look at this article over at Business Insider: The 16 best ways to sabotage your organization’s productivity, from a CIA manual published in 1944. Here’s a couple of the CIA’s tricks:
- Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
- When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.
- Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.
- Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.