Reading List: Simple Sabotage

UPDATED: September 26, 2015
PUBLISHED: September 26, 2015

In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA’s predecessor, published The Simple Sabotage Field Manual, a how-to guide for undermining an enemy. Along with recommended acts of vandalism (slashing tires, salting engines), the manual contained eight seemingly innocuous tactics intended to disrupt enemy organizations. The tactics included time wasters (never allow shortcuts to expedite decisions, speechify whenever possible and illustrate your points with long anecdotes), efficiency corrupters (bring up irrelevant issues as often as possible and haggle over the wording of communications) and other techniques to stymie productivity.

Seventy years on, such vintage tactics not only still work but they’re also used intentionally or inadvertently every day in businesses and organizations, PTA meetings and family discussions. The authors, all business strategists, explain how to recognize, manage and neutralize the time wasters, hagglers, distracters, and other saboteurs in your workplace and in your life.

Simple Sabotage is both evergreen and entertaining.

By Robert M. Galford, Bob Frisch & Cary Greene
September; HarperOne; $23.99