Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dead horse strategies for 21st century

According to the legend and the customary presentation of this item, the tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, presumably passed on from generation to generation, says that, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

An updated version of this approach applied to governments, NGOs, companies and institutions is here presented below.

1. Re-structuring the dead horse's reward scale to contain a performance-related element.

2. Suspending the horse's access to the executive grassy meadow until it improves its attitude and makes good all productivity shortfalls.

3. Finding a mentor or buddy for the dead horse.

4. Examining the cost-savings accruing from de-skilling the dead horse function.

5. Demanding equal rights and representation of the dead horse on all international councils, conferences and public appearances.

6. Denying the existence of the dead horse, until the story appears in the Drudge Report, upon which release ready-made PR featuring the dead horse 'in action', thus totally fooling everyone who thought the horse was dead (but it still is of course).

7. Review and revaluation of the dead horse structural performaces.

8. Re-aligning the organizational aims to better fit the needs of the dead horse.

9. Outsourcing the management and/or the riding of the dead horse to a specialist dead horse management company (offshore to “least developed” dead horses).

10. Bringing in a team of expensive external consultants to focus on dead horse optimization.

11. Re-branding the dead horse a “Fair Trade Horse”, and affixing prominent Fair Trade insignia to its hind-quarters and promoting its image and brand in African continent.

12. Scrutinizing and challenging the dead horse's expenses claims, and leaking baseless related accusations to the media and the dead horse transparency unit.

13. Asking Richard Branson if he'd be interested in running a Virgin Dead Horse joint venture (then asking Google to make a Google Dead Horse Reader killing application with RSS feeds coming from all dead horses).

14. Setting up a free-phone customer service hotline to handle complaints relating to the dead horse fiasco.

15. Re-designing the dead horse's shoes so that they can be made of bamboo and re-cycled.

16. Setting up an inquiry into the dead horse, preferably headed by a dead horse and answerable to other dead horses.

17. Forming a task force to investigate the dead horse's positive benefits on social enterprise.

18. Blaming the dead horse on the sub-prime credit crunch, thereby absolving (and enabling the obscenely generous rewarding of) those responsible for the decision to recruit an emaciated horse, starve it, and keep it in a frozen field (because the stables were sold to property developers years ago).

19. Appointing a top advertising agency to promote the benefits of the reduced carbon hoof-print of a dead horse compared to the ridiculously out-dated and unsustainable notion of a living horse.

20. Off-shoring the stabling and veterinary support of the dead horse to somewhere in the Indian sub-continent.

21. Sending the dead horse on an outward bound or log-carrying weekend with other dead horses.

22. Lobbying ministers and pressure groups for the extension of European standards to encompass the special qualities of dead horses.

23. Nationalizing the dead horse.

24. Making the dead horse redundant, giving it a hefty golden hoof-shake, and then retaining it as consultant at five times its previous annual cost.

For more of dead horse strategies click for example here.