Are you inadvertently sabotaging your department?

July 7, 2020 James Hayward

Do you know that 48% of people are unhappy in their current job? How about the fact that 47% are frequently thinking about quitting

These are staggering numbers. And they highlight a considerable problem for managers to solve. Especially given the negative impact unhappy workers have on productivity and business performance.

There are plenty of reasons employees feel this way. But you might be surprised to learn that many business leaders are unintentionally fuelling the problem by using tactics designed by the CIA as a method of sabotage.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at what the CIA’s ‘Simple Sabotage Field Manual: Strategic Services’ has to say. 

How to sabotage a business according to the CIA

The CIA’s published its manual to teach allied spies how to sabotage the enemy businesses they worked for. The objective is to cause maximum disruption and impact to productivity “in such a way as to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection and reprisal”.  

Some tactics they suggest to use include: 

  1. Insisting on doing everything through ‘channels’ and never allow people to take shortcuts to expedite decisions.

  2. Referring all matters to committees, for ‘further study and consideration’ where possible. 

  3. Bringing up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

  4. Haggling over precise wordings of communications.

  5. Referring back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempting to reopen the question.

  6. Multiplying the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paying checks, and so forth so that three or more people have to approve everything where one would do. 

  7. Holding long meetings when there is more critical work to be done.

Are you unintentionally sabotaging your department?

Do these points sound familiar? I bet some, if not all, do. Most people see these management tactics deployed in their business every day. 

Somehow, the CIA’s methods to sabotage enemy businesses are now considered as part of the modern day management playbook. And, if you’re using them to manage your department, you’re likely having a detrimental effect on your people and their work.  

Want to stop the self-sabotage and learn a new way to manage your team that unlocks their full potential? Check what management guru and best selling author, Aaron Dignan, had to say during our recent virtual event, Paradigm Shift. 

About the Author

James Hayward

James is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Tradeshift, focused on crafting compelling stories that provide supply chain professionals with unique insights and actionable advice on how to take their organization to the next level. A journalist by trade, James was previously the Global Editor at Treasury Today magazine.

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