This blog post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Bureaucracy got you down? Red tape holding you back? You and me both. At least twice now in the past few months someone referenced an interesting document called the “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” written by the Office of Strategic Services in 1944. Its objective was to aid Allied sympathizers in the war with ways to sabotage the enemy. Page 28 in the manual provides ideas in which one could interfere with Organizations and Production:
“…insist on doing everything through ‘channels’. Never permit short-cuts…when possible, refer all matters to committees, for ‘further study and consideration’. Attempt to make the committees as large as possible…Advocate ‘caution’. Be ‘reasonable’ and urge your fellow-conferees to be ‘reasonable’ and avoid haste…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”.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The good news is our leadership at the highest levels are getting aggressive at routing out barriers to speed and agility. They want all levels of the organization to be truly empowered to make things happen. The great news is many people are already working mightily to make change. They are working to be anti-sabotage agents! These efforts are accelerating the delivery of war-winning technology to the field creating the Air Force of the future.
One of these Technology Accelerators is Michela Spijkers, a financial analyst, in our Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. Michela created a new strategy within her directorate to proactively put overarching, high level support agreements in place with our partners ensuring speedy execution of collaborative research projects. She built upon this success by bringing this idea to the Center and is now working with AFRL/XP to implement this across all of AFRL. Kudos to our anti-sabotage agent, our technology accelerator – Michela!
When you find these opportunities for improvement, do your research, collaborate with others involved in the process, gain buy in from your leadership and organization and execute your new strategy with a vengeance! Together we can move mountains and win the war against overly burdensome bureaucracy.