So Ian Stewart at Deloitte comes to my rescue today with a pointer to an excellent piece of research.
During the Second World War the CIA published a how-to-guide for citizen saboteurs living in occupied countries. Among various ways to disrupt machinery etc. were some excellent examples of how people were advised to prevent the smooth running of business and stopping progress. Many of the pieces of advice remind me of the practices I have witnessed first-hand being business as usual at oil and gas operators.
Including advice for Strategic Management:
(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.
(5): Haggle of precise wordings of communications, minutes and resolutions.
(7): Advocate “caution”. Be “reasonable” and urge fellow conferees to be” reasonable” and advoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
And Advice for Operations
(1): Demand written orders
(4): Don’t order new materials until your current stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will mean a shutdown.
(5): Order high quality materials which are hard to get. If you don’t get them argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior work.