Thursday, July 08, 2010

How to fix a sinking ship

Here's one more revised oldie published in honor of this blog's 50,000th visitor and upcoming fifth anniversary:

Tribal Wisdom of Ancient Mariners vs. Modern Helm Management Theory

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 and adjust the trim tab, and propeller pitch angle, spoon, and cup settings to improve sinking performance under power.

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

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, let the cat out of the bag, fraculate, 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 increase their aggregate performance and dynamically leverage their flotation characteristics.

12. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the 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. Put the helmspersons on a Swedish bikini watch schedule.

17. Remind passengers that the builder actually said that the ship was virtually unsinkable.

18. Jettison (get rid of) unnecessary weight, such as the life raft, bilge pump, buckets, etc.

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

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

21. Declare, that, because the sinking ship no longer needs fuel, wharf or dock facilities, crew, or annual haul-out and maintenance, it is thus less costly, has minimal overhead, and therefore adds substantially more to the bottom line than do floating ships.

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

23. Hire alternative design consultants to re-arrange the deck furniture on board in accordance with feng shui principles to ensure harmony and good joss, karma, kemo sabe, and wa-sabi.

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

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

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

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

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

29. Open all watertight doors so as to ensure a climate of acceptance and accessibility and to level off the ship as an “even playing field” for all.

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

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

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

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


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