Riding a dead horse

September 13th, 2009

Hat tip to Dave Pollard

This is one of my favourite sayings in workshops (for some reason I seem to find people riding dead horses quite often!) so I was pleased to read this:

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In the public service, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies is often employed, such as:

1. Change riders.

2. Buy a stronger whip.

3. Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”.

4. Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.

5. Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.

6. Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.

7. Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.

8. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.

9. Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.

10. Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”.

11. Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses.

12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses.

13. Modify existing standards to include dead horses.

14. Declare that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than many other horses.

15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

16. (added by another commenter) Issue Collateralized Horse Obligations

2 Comments so far

  1. Rochelle Griffith on September 16, 2009 9:55 am

    Hi Viv,
    Now that i’ve stopped giggling uncontrollably, i can finally make a comment! Thanks for sharing this peice of genius. I feel a particular connection to 9, 11 and 15… !
    Good luck with the Manifesto.


  2. Viv McWaters on September 16, 2009 10:55 am

    Hi Rochelle

    I have a strong connection to #6!



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