Public Sector Decision Making 101or How to Kill a Dead Horse

Someone sent me this and I thought I would share with my readers. Enjoy.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians in the United States, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount and get another horse or walk. The common sense approach.

In the Public Sector, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies is often employed, such as:

  1. Change riders.
  2. Buy a stronger whip.
  3. Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”.
  4. Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.
  5. Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.
  6. Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse. (Can be as useful as a saddle when it comes to protecting your rear end!!)
  7. Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.
  8. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
  9. Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.
  10. Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”.
  11. Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses.
  12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  13. Modify existing standards to include dead horses.
  14. Declare 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 than many other horses.
  15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position. (But, the competition for positions is fierce).

Yes that is how we do things in the public sector and why very little gets done.

About jimmintz

Managing Partner, CEPSM Jim Mintz is a veteran marketing professional with many years of experience as a practioner and academic. He is presently Managing Partner at CEPSM and Program Director of the “Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing” at Sprott School ... Specialty Areas: Social Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Public Sector and Non Profit Marketing
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