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RRF Newsletter 52 back to contents
The Dead Horse Syndrome

(This amusing piece was circulated on the internet. Efforts to track down its origins have been unsuccessful.)

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that ‘When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount’.

However, in government, education, and in corporate America , more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:


1.       Buying a stronger whip.  

2.       Changing riders.  

3.       Appointing a committee to study the horse.  

4.       Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride horses.  

5.       Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.  

6.       Reclassifying the horse as living-impaired.  

7.       Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.  

8.       Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.  

9.       Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.  

10.   Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.  

11.   Declaring that the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.  

12.   Rewriting the performance requirements for all horses.  

And of course a favourite .... promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.




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