Jeffrey Saltzman's Blog

Enhancing Organizational Performance

Dakota Indian Tribal Wisdom

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A bunch of us conducted an educational session in DC last week. We had a packed house. The talk that I gave was titled “Transformational Change and the Employee”. In preparing for that talk I came across some Dakota Indian tribal lore that I felt was very insightful and so I decided to use it within my speech. In essence the Dakota Indians say that once a rider realizes that they are riding a dead horse, the best course of action that the rider can take is to dismount – get off that dead horse. The Archives of Humor (no author cited), elaborates on that a bit further and states that organizations prior to dismounting their dead horse will often first try other strategies, before coming to the realization that they are riding a dead horse. While I can not vouch for the authenticity of this information it was just too good to pass up. Here is the list – slightly edited by me.

  • Buy a stronger whip.
  • Change riders.
  • Say things like, “This is the way we have always ridden this horse.”
  • Appoint a committee to study the horse.
  • Arrange a benchmarking visit to see how others ride dead horses.
  • Increase the standards to ride dead horses.
  • Appoint a working group to revive the dead horse.
  • Create a training session to increase our riding ability.
  • Compare the state of dead horses in today’s environment.
  • Hire consultants to ride the dead horse for you.
  • Create a form to complete before you are allowed to ride that dead horse so that you ride better.
  • Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
  • Provide additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.
  • Do an analysis to see if contractors can ride cheaper then employees.
  • Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
  • Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.
  • Form a cross functional group to find uses for dead horses.
  • Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
  • Promote the dead horse to an executive position.

(Modified from the Archives of Humor)

© 2010 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

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Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

April 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

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  1. […] April 26, 2010 by Olette This comes from Jeffrey Saltzman’s blog – I love his irreverent approach to Organizational Performance.  The posting is very funny – click here to view it. […]

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