Dead Horse Culture
I enjoyed this one arriving in my inbox a few days back, and found myself thinking of examples where I’d seen each of these behaviours over the years.
- Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
- Buying a stronger whip.
- Changing riders.
- Say things like, “This is the way we have always ridden this horse.”
- Appointing a committee to study the horse.
- Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
- Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
- Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
- Comparing the state of dead horses in today’s environment.
- Change the requirements declaring that “This horse is not dead.”
- Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.
- Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
- Declaring that “No horse is too dead to beat.”
- Providing additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
- Do a Cost Analysis study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
- Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
- Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
- Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
- Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
- Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
- Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position
I’ve heard the ‘flogging a dead horse analogy’ a lot in recent years, in many companies the act of changing a culture can often feel that way.
If you’re thinking of changing your culture make sure you have a clear diagnostic of the current state, a clear idea of the outcome you’re trying to achieve and most importantly a passion and conviction for the journey ahead.