CIA-OSS Manual for Workplace Sabotage

Recently, the CIA declassified a document titled ‘Simple Sabotage Field Manual’. This manual was created by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II–era precursor to the CIA. It is dated 1944, for use by CIA operatives in Europe who were trying to recruit civilians living in countries occupied by the Axis Alliance (Germany, Italy and Japan).

A scanned version of the document is available in the pdf form at the CIA’s website, here.

OSS-CIA Manual Cover

The documents has around 32 pages. The most interesting parts for me were in the last few pages in a section titled ‘General Interference with Organizations and Production.’

One sub-section of this part is reproduced here:

(a) Organizations and Conferences

(1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order 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. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.
(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, resolutions.
(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to reopen 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 such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

The manual continues to other such sub-sections titled (b) Managers and Supervisors, (c) Office Workers, and (d) Employees. You can read all the sections in pages 28-32 of the manual available here.

What is amazing is that I see this behavior in most organizations, displayed by most people, though they may not have been recruited by the CIA (at least, I think CIA has better sense than to spend money when there is no need).

And that is why you have management gurus and management consultancy firms, much in demand, trying to reverse the situation, with maybe negligible effect. We have experts in OD, employee motivation, leadership development. operational efficiency, process management, organizational alignment, Balanced Scorecard, Six-Sigma, Lean, Agile, ISO, CMMI®, People CMM®, and so on…, but nothing seems to change.

The  beauty of the principles in the document are so inherently ‘aligned’ to human nature, that these principles have insidiously and organically crept into all aspects of all organizations, maybe even in the CIA.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions. Read pages 28-32 of the manual available here.

Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available. You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd (MMFSL) Appraised & Rated at Maturity Level 3 of the People CMM®

On 30th Sept, 2015,  Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd (MMFSL), India was appraised and rated at maturity level 3 of the People CMM® as a MMFSL Logoresult of an appraisal conducted using SCAMPISM-A. MMFSL (started in 1991) is a large NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) with a workforce of more than 14K people.

The result of this SCAMPISM-A is available at the CMMI Institute site containing Published Appraisal Results (PARS), here (https://sas.cmmiinstitute.com/pars/pars_detail.aspx?a=25252).

This result has also been reported in the media, here.

This appraisal and rating was a milestone in an ongoing journey at MMFSL that was initiated around two years ago by Mr. Vinay Deshpande, their CPO (Chief People Officer). The objective was to improve the skills, motivation, engagement, and alignment of their people for achieving higher levels of organizational performance.

Here are a few highlights of MMFSL, their people related processes, changes implemented during the People CMM® journey, benefits accrued, and future plans.

  • MMFSL is the first NBFC in India with a large workforce (over 14K employees), with a pan-India presence to have successfully implemented maturity level 3 aligned processes.
  • MMFSL has, in the last two years been able to hire over 60% through employee referral, saving considerable hiring costs. This also reconfirms that employees are acting as ‘promoters’ of the organization in the job market.
  • During the People CMM® journey, MMFSL has implemented a robust competency framework that is used for hiring, individual development, internal job postings, training, and succession planning.

Other companies of the Mahindra Group in the Finance Sector are also adopting the People CMM® framework.

We hope to share more experiences from MMFSL soon on this website.

The appraisal team was led by Rajesh Naik (CMMI Institute Partner: QAI India).

Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available. You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author :-).

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.