Dakota Tribal Wisdom Applied to Business Management

June 15, 2011

I came across a comment of Kathryn Venator’s in a recent Linkedin discussion which I thought well worth a share (and thanks Kathryn for permission to use your interpretation of these strategies.

The tribal wisdom’s 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 many companies (and Government and Academia) a range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:
  • Changing riders
  • Appointing a committee to study the horse
  • Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses
  • Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
  • Reclassifying the dead horse as ‘living impaired’.
  • Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
  • Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed
  • Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance
  • Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance
  • Declaring 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 mission of the organisation than do some other horses
  • Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses… 

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