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Dave Baker

Beating a Dead Horse, Corporate-style

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The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. But in modern business, education and government, because heavy investment factors are taken into consideration, 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.

14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

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