How to Avoid Strategic Self-Sabotage

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 11-26-2015 Email

Do you have a saboteur within your IT team? Or are you doing such damage yourself—without being aware of it? The recent book, Simple Sabotage: A Modern Field Manual for Detecting and Rooting Out Everyday Behaviors that Undermine Your Workplace (HarperOne/available now), addresses these possibilities by identifying self-defeating professional traits/situations that can stifle, sidetrack and otherwise prevent work teams from accomplishing strategic objectives. Authors Robert M. Galford, Bob Frisch and Cary Greene base their "simple sabotages" upon a field manual that the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) issued in 1944. (The OSS was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency.) The manual elaborated upon sabotage methods intended to demoralize the enemy. The authors make a convincing case that these tactics are alive and well within corporate America today—even if the guilty parties (and, yes, you may be among them) bear no ill-intent. In many cases, the counter-productive behaviors are simply the outcome of benign but still unfortunate cultural dynamics and personal shortcomings. Our presentation of eight, selected sabotaging actions—along with ways to overcome them—are adapted from the book. Galford is managing partner of the Center for Leading Organizations. Frisch is managing partner of the Strategic Offsites Group, while Greene is a partner with Strategic Offsites Group.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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