Purposeful stupidity is a set of instructions that the CIA's precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), wrote in 1944, namely the Simple Sabotage Field Manual.
"Citizen-saboteurs" learned those instructions to sabotage organizations or governments institutions.
Organizations become incompetent and slow after the saboteurs apply the techniques to them.
Instructions for organizations and conferences.
- Add bureaucracy to expedite decisions.
- Talk as frequently as possible and at great length without adding much value.
- Attempt to make the committee as large as possible.
- Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
- Haggle over precise workings of communications.
- Refer back to matters previously decided.
- Be "reasonable" and urge your fellows-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoid haste which might result in embarrassment or difficulties later on.
Instructions for managers.
- Always sign out the unimportant jobs first. Assign important jobs to inefficient workers.
- Insist on perfect in relatively unimportant products.
- Be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.
- Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
- Add bureaucracy to the processes.
Instructions for employees.
- Work slowly.
- Make as many interruptions as you can.
- Do your work poorly and blame it on inadequate tools.
- Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.