Monday, January 09, 2006

Tribal Wisdom of Ancient Mariners Redux

The tribal wisdom of ancient mariners, passed on from generation to generation, says,
"If you can't plug the hole and your ship is headed for the bottom, abandon ship."

However, in government, educational institutions, and corporations, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buy a bigger engine or install a turbo-charger to improve sinking performance (power boats).

2. Send the sails to a sailmaker for re-cutting to optimize performance in the sinking environment (sail).

3. Re-tension the vang, move the traveler up, re-set leech tension for mainsail twist, ease mast rake, adjust the cunningham, man the yardarms, splice the mainbrace, and feather the spinnaker twanger to alter the center of effort on sinking sailing vessels.

4. Change helmspersons.

5. Appoint a blue-ribbon panel to evaluate the sinking ship.

6. Visit other countries to see how other cultures sink ships.

7. Re-define performance standards so that sinking ships can be included as fully contributing vessels in a healthy climate of inclusiveness and support for diversity.

8. Reclassify the sinking ship as flotation-impaired and therefore a member of a protected class.

9. Hire outside contractors to pilot the sinking ship.

10. Hire a marine surveyor to perform moisture meter readings on the sinking ship's hull.

11. Harness several sinking ships together to try increasing their aggregate performance and flotation characteristics.

12. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase sinking ship's ability to float.

13. Commission a productivity study to determine whether lighter crew would decrease the ship's rate of sinking.

14. Alter compensation strategies for sinking ship crews to re-incentivize their flotation performance.

15. Make the hole in the ship more uniform so that water flows in more evenly and in a more easily measured and aesthetically pleasing manner.

16. Re-engineer "Best of Class" benchmark performance standards for sinking ships based on validated, criterion-referenced, statistically-normed data.

17. Place a bug screen over the hole in the ship to exclude annoying insects and small sea creatures from distracting the crew.

18. Provide counseling for the crew to better understand and respect the sinking ship's feelings and cultural values.

19. Declare, that, because the sinking ship no longer needs to be fueled, it no longer requires wharf or dock facilities, requires less crew, and does not require annual haulout and maintenance, it is thus less costly, has minimal overhead, and therefore adds substantially more to the bottom line than do some other ships.

20. Hire motivational speakers and experts to fire the sinking ship's crew with enthusiasm and a dynamic sense of purpose.

21. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all ships to be compatible with the performance characteristics of sinking ships.

22. Provide additional incentives, rewards, and psychological support to improve the sinking ship and crew's self-esteem.

23. Send the crew of the sinking ship to time-management and continuous process quality improvement symposia and provide them with the appropriate work-flow management software and tools.

24. Provide the sinking ship and its crew with the support structure of a matrixed management structure with multiple reporting lines to ensure accountable performance.

25. Advise the captain and crew not to rock the boat.

26. Hire the crew of the sinking ship as consultants for total quality paradigm management ship sinking continuous process improvement.

27. Promote the captain and crew to marine safety supervisory positions with responsibilities to manage and optimize the sinking process for all ships.

28. Hire the captain and crew of the sinking ship to manage the political campaign of your least favorite elected official.


At 9:36 AM, January 12, 2006, Blogger Tillerman said...

lol - I love it. Reminds me of the days when I worked on one of thos sinkign ships. I thnk we tried most of the above.

At 8:32 AM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Jerry said...

You make it sound like there's something wrong with a bottom-intensive sailing experience.

At 11:28 AM, January 20, 2006, Blogger Pat said...

Well yea, it does have its downside...

(1) Lousy view.

(2) High-pressure work environment.

(3) Makes all those "Swim with the Sharks" management seminars seem so trivial.

(4) Forces one to make picky little distinctions as in, "Honey, was it the sails you said you wanted reefed or the whole darned boat?"


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