Traditional wisdom says: "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount and get a different horse."

However, modern corporations tend to employ more advanced strategies. Let’s look at how they respond. (For a bit of fun, you can make your own equivalent responses).


Buying a stronger whip.

Roll out incentives and tweak the KPIs.

Changing riders.

Fire the CEO.

Appointing a committee to study the horse.

Or do we prefer ‘task force’?

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

A strategic planning retreat with some team building thrown in.

Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

Combine 2 divisions.

Lowering the standards so that the dead horse can be included.

Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

Providing additional funding and / or training to increase 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 overheads and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position!

How did you go? How does your organisation fare? Of course this is just poking some fun at the way we do things today, but the underlying question is ver serious. And the implications in the tougher climate more severe. It is pretty hard to know when the horse is dead - that is like picking the bottom of the market; always easy in hindsight.


When exactly do you to walk away from a 'dead horse' business? Any ideas?


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