The Dead Horse Theory

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 61  |  Posted date : Jun 01, 2007.Back to list

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says, “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.” In government, however, more “advanced” strategies are often employed in such situations:

1. Buy a stronger whip
2. Change riders
3. Appoint a committee to study the horse
4. Visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses
5. Lower the standards so that dead horses can be included
6. Reclassify the dead horse as living impaired
7. Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse
8. Harness several dead horses together to increase speed
9. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s performance
10. Do a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance
11. Declare that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore, contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses
12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses
13. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position