A week or so ago, I happened across a training manual offering instructions on proper behavior within organizations. Here I take the liberty of quoting extensively from it.

I ask one favor of you and one element of forbearance. The favor is to kindly ask yourself as you read it whether these behaviors are reflective of what happens within your firm. The forbearance is that I will tell you the source only after you give that a moment’s thought.

  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  • See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
  • 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 loyal comments.
  • 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.
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  • Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
  • Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
  • Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
  • 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.
  • Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about instructions. Quibble over them when you can.
  • Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products.
  • Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

And the source?

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