Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dead horses

I was reflecting yesterday on some of the 'modern management methods' that are all the rage these days in our institutions, be they private or public. And I remembered something that came across as a joke a while ago. I thought it was worth revisiting. Here it is.

The tribal wisdom of the Lakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a deadhorse, the best strategy is to dismount.

But in modern business (and education and government), other strategies are
often tried with dead horses, including the following:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Threatening the horse with termination.
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
7. Reclassifying the dead horse as "living-impaired."
8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead
horse's performance.
11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve
the dead horse's performance.
12. Declaring that the dead horse carries lower overhead and therefore
contributes more to the bottom line than some other horses.
13. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
And, as a final strategy:
14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Enjoy, oh do!

PB White


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