Of course, the human race is not perfect!  Want proof? : well, look at these scientific* results: 1% of the human population is integer, 1% is corrupt and 98% bases its actions on the situation, as it occurs. Those 98% might adjust the truth to suit themselves and thus serve their own interest: more power, more income, more respect.

This is what happens behind the scenes in many a political discussion, like the Brexit one. No surprise that own interests get the first position. It might even win from the interest of your country, yes, from a national interest. It is hard to recruit your cabinet and political leaders from the 1% that is fully reliable. Of course, that is because of the numbers, but also because they are hard to identify. How would you discover well-hidden intentions? The outside looks quite ok, the story is perfect. They go along with the flow: yes, give us Britain back again, that is the supported dominant story. And the real story is kept away, to be revealed later on, with as a result the disappearance of full range top-political leadership. It is project sabotage in a pure form: hide your real intentions, manipulate the truth, change a few figures and try to take advantage of the situation.

Understanding human nature

Should we rest in despair? No, luckily there is a medicine available. It starts with first recognising that each project has its opponents. It starts with understanding the opportunist human nature, with acknowledging the importance of the human factor. You probably know the opponents:  – people who, for one reason or another, have a self-interest in having a project fail. The dominant motive is survival. That turns an opponent into a saboteur. The project saboteur has purely human motives for committing his deed. Motivation, however, is not enough for bringing about the failure of a project; there must also be opportunities. The saboteur must have formal or informal influence. Or both.  The Brexit stage provides all of this in large quantities: motivation, self-interest, manipulating data, access to the media to tell your story and saving your own interest at huge cost for society.

It was no surprise that it happened. But is there any reason why it should happen again?

Dion Kotteman
Author of The Project Saboteur

Wanna buy the book and be successful in projects?

Claret Press
ISBN 978-1-910461-42-6

*Dr Muel Kaptein, Erasmus Research Institute of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam