Beating a dead horse

The piece below is quite old and rather well known, but it’s absolutely excellent and I couldn’t help having it here…

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In business, however, it seems that we often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:

  1. Buying a stronger whip
  2. Changing riders
  3. Threatening the horse with termination
  4. Saying things like „This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”
  5. Appoint a committee to study the horse
  6. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses
  7. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
  8. Appoint a tiger team to revive the dead horse
  9. Re-classify the dead horse as ?living, impaired?
  10. Create a training session to increase our riding ability
  11. Compare the state of dead horses in today’s environment
  12. Change the requirements declaring that „This horse is not dead.”
  13. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse
  14. Attempt to mount multiple dead horses in hopes that one of them will spring to life
  15. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed
  16. Declare that „No horse is too dead to beat.”
  17. Provide additional funding to increase the horse’s performance
  18. Do a CA Study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper
  19. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster
  20. Declare the horse is „better, faster and cheaper” dead
  21. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses
  22. Do a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse?s performanc
  23. Revisit the performance requirements for all horses
  24. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable
  25. Declare that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses
  26. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position

And how do you ride your dead horse?

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