Bureaucracy and Dead Horses


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 bureaucracy 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 dead horses.

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

6. Reclassifying the dead 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 dead horse’s performance.

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

11. 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 bottom line of economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course….

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.


Thanks to Joe Cummins for these 13 talking points. No PowerPoint presentations were used in developing these ideas or concepts, or the random words used to form seemingly coherent sentences … in those cases where the words appear to actually form some structure of readability.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Bureaucracy and Dead Horses

  1. You forgot beating a dead horse. Oh hey look, a stick. ; )

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