Bureaucratic Substitutes for Relevant Change: The Dead Horse Analogy
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When you discover that 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. Saying things like “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today’s environment.
10. Change the requirements declaring that “This horse is not dead.”
11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Declaring that “No horse is too dead to beat.”
14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
15. Do a CA Study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
16. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
17. Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
18. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
19. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
20. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.