Came across this in the eCustomerServiceWorld.com weekly newsletter.
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 many organizations, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:
- Change riders
- Buy a stronger whip
- Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”
- Visit other companies or countries to see how they ride dead horses
- Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance
- Outsource: Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse
- Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed
- Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance
- Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is
- Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”
- Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses
- Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses
- Modify existing standards to include dead horses
- 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
- Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.
I just love analogies like this!