Monday, 21 September 2009

Saboteur's tools - nails and knowledge


A fascinating Saboteur's Field Manual has been declassified by the US Military. As well as the usual nails and home-made explosives, surprisingly it presents sophisticated methods of disrupting organisational knowledge. A kind of knowledge management, in reverse. Knowledge mis-management?

For example:
"A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt an uncooperative attitude, and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another".
Sounds familiar? For tools, read documents.

How about: "More important ... would be to create a situation in which the citizen-saboteur acquires a sense of responsibility and begins to educate others in simple sabotage".

And my favourites in relation to Knowledge Mis-Management:
  • "When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
  • To lower morale... be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers.
  • Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done".
Remember this was 1944. Those damn office saboteurs have been perfecting their technique for 65 years.

Finally, I couldn't resist this one:
"Cry and sob hysterically at every occasion, especially when confronted by government clerks".

I am indebted to Jenny Ambrozek for pointing me to Don Burke of the CIA who referenced the Handbook in his talk to The Tap Collective
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