Are we sabotaging ourselves?

Let’s think about our work day to day. Well we are always thinking in improve our working proccess, do a better job and make better decisions right?

So let’s analyse some points about things that I bet we’ll always find one or another (or all of them) in our “modern” companies and some agreements inside the brackets:

#1 Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

[Well, maybe sometimes it’s normal to insist that we have to respect our hierarchy]

#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.

[Who never seen a coworker talking too much useless things in a meeting or trying to make an “I AM THE BEST TALK SHOW”, huh?]

#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.

[It’s super normal delegate the most important decisions to a group of “experts” or the “choosen ones” that’ll do the right choose for us]

#4 Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

[Oh, come on! Who never put some bilateral issues during a meeting to make people relax or just to break the ice?]

#5 Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

[It’s not a sin try to stress a question again and again to obtain the better answer, right? Who never seen it happening?]

#6 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.

[We have a beautiful and brilliant Corporate Approval Matrix we MUST USE IT!]

Until here we don’t have any surprise at all, these things are usually practiced by our colleagues or ourselves. So let’s look at some ideas about managing and supervising:

#1 Demand written orders.

[It’s important to have proof of what we demand to our employees! We must have something to protect us from misunderstandings]

#2 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.

[Of course we will! We’re not amateurs! We always work only with the best materials available]

#3 Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw. Approve other defective parts whose fiaws are not visible to the naked eye.

[For god sake it’s just a MVP or a prototype the most important part is the presentation of the product the engine itself we can manage in future]

#4 When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.

[They are young and smart and its their obligation to find the answers by themselves. We are talking about hard work, not dealing with babies, its part of the learning proccess]

#5 Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

[Conferences are also critical we get people together to rock the world to create amazing things (or this is the objective I guess)]

#6 Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

[Look, sometimes we have to get people to a job position before the real work exists. We can’t have the risk of take to spend too much time trying to find the best employee when the work start to grow]

Well I have a lot of more points that we deal everyday like specific employees issues and etc. The biggest point around here is that these things presented above are really founded in a big number of companies and I have no doubt about it.

So what about if I tell you that this 12 things above came from a small book from 1944 called “SIMPLE SABOTAGE FIELD MANUAL” and that it was used by CIA for a long time in the past?

Looking at this book make me think that this specific guide of CIA “employees” on how to sabotage companies and other kinds of human systems tell us that maybe WE are our own saboteurs.

Sometimes we try hard to do things to get the best results in our companies but thinking that maybe we are doing exactly the same thing a “spy” do to destroy a company suggests me that we should go through the other way.

Thinking deeper about this “way of working” make me to do a parallel with my business (that’s software development in general, of course).

In our day to day working with software the biggest part of us (to not say everybody) are working with agile proccess and what exactly mean being agile?

Well I guess that the best explanation can be found in Agile Manifesto written in 2001 by some of most influential people in our area at that time.

But trying to summarizing being agile means breaking the barriers between people deconstructing the big walls of the castles that we created to try to organize our work system. It’s about doing things looking face to face and talking directly to the people that are related to the current issue and deciding by ourselves assuming risks everyday trying to hit the best shot at the moment it needed.

It’s about helping all of our teamates and being self managing team at the same time because we are current running to the same objective and everybody wants to win together(or at least should think about it) because we are a TEAM a COMPANY and if everybody wins the company also wins.

So read carefully again this 12 things that you may be living in your day to day and think if they are the best way to do the things that will take you to the finish line.

Gracias!

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