The future of sabotaging work

Every so often the OSS Simple Sabotage Manual on sabotaging workplaces gets shared on social media in return for a few knowing laughs about how it seems to describe the modern workplace. Its description of how saboteurs can slow the pace of work in an effort to hinder the production capabilities of the enemy parallels the bureaucratic work practices that we all love to hate. The implication? That companies sabotage themselves by working in the way they do. And so, if we could only just stop making decisions by committee and revisiting the same discussions and misunderstanding regulations then work could happen faster, and that would just be better.

Or maybe it wouldn’t be. Maybe slow work is better. Maybe the aspects of the future of work that no one talks about because they’re busy arguing over whether work should happen in offices or homes, is that Schumpeter’s legacy of innovation that relies on speed, on first-mover advantage, doesn’t fit the future of innovation we need. People and planet need an innovation that is paced, considered, connected, and intentionally so because it recognises the complexity of the world we live in and that nothing exists in isolation. The ’move fast and break things’ meme is the sabotage manual of the modern day.