An excellent email forwarded to me today really captures the essence (sometimes!) of working in local government. Interestingly, the original email came from an old colleague who had moved back to New Zealand and works in local government there. Suggests to me that my dream of moving to New Zealand might not be all it’s cracked up to be…!
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 government and local government, 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
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
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 the 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.