May 25, 2007 | Ken Reed

Friday Joke: Safety and the Dead Horse

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in safety management we find that many try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buy a stronger whip and declare that “No horse is too dead to beat.”

2. Change riders.

3. Say things like, “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”

4. Appoint a committee to study the horse.

5. Visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

6. Change the procedure to ride dead horses.

7. Appoint a special team to revive the dead horse.

8. Consider whether or not the rider needs more skill/knowledge to ride the dead horse.

9. Compare the state of dead horses in today’s environment.

10. Change the threshold of “dead” declaring that “This horse is not dead.”

11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.

12. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.

13. Provide additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.

14. Perform a study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

15. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.

16. Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.

17. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.

18. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.

19. Develop an incentive awards program to encourage the dead horse to perform at acceptable levels.

And if all else fails:

20. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

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