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The Dead Horse Syndrome

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Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

However in business many managers / companies will often try other strategies with dead horses, which may unfortunately sound all too familiar :


1. Buy a stronger whip

2. Change riders

3. Threaten the horse with termination

4. Say things like, "This is the way we have always ridden this horse"

5. Appoint a committee to study the horse

6. Arrange to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses

7. Lower the standards so that dead horses can be included

8. Appoint a tiger team to revive the dead horse

9. Ride the dead horse "outside the box"

10. Buy a commercial off-the-shelf dead horse

11. Create a training session to increase our riding ability

12. Reclassify the dead horse as "living-impaired"

13. Compare the state of dead horses in today's environment

14. Change the autopsy report to declare, "This horse is not dead"

15. Kill all the other horses, so this one will look the same

16. Name the dead horse "Paradigm Shift" and keep riding it

17. Ride the dead horse "smarter' not harder

18. Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse

19. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed

20. Do a time management study to see if the lighter riders would improve productivity

21. Declare "No horse is too dead to beat"

22. Call the dead horse a "joint venture" and let others ride it

23. Provide additional funding to increase the horse's performance

24. Do a cost analysis study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper

25. Purchase an aftermarket product to make dead horses run faster

26. Declare the horse is "better, faster, and cheaper dead”

27. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses

28. Declare that "This horse was procured with cost as an independent variable"

29. Get the horse a Web site.

If you have a dead horse strategy in your business or could do with a fresh strategic review within your business,

contact our senior consultant - on +44 (0)7939 510 186 or click here to email him directly






Last Updated on Sunday, 26 January 2014 18:33