How unthinking people can make – or break – your day.

In a business environment where everyone wants to streamline their business, cut costs, reduce the headcount but still remain in business, I often find that those decisions – fiscally astute as they might be – backfire. Yesterday I called the SABC about my TV license. (For my international readers: All South Africans are required by law to be in possession of a license in order to own a TV. This has to be paid annually in order to...

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“But we’ve always done it this way…”

Apparently this is based on a true incident. A quality management consultant was visiting a small and somewhat antiquated English manufacturing company, to advise on improving general operating efficiency. The advisor was reviewing a particular daily report which dealt with aspects of productivity, absentee rates, machine failure, down-time, etc. The report was completed manually onto a photocopied proforma that was several generations away from...

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The REALLY important people.

A big corporation hired several cannibals. "You are all part of our team now," said the HR manager during the welcome briefing. "You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don’t eat any of the other employees." The cannibals promised they would not. A few weeks later the cannibals’ boss remarked, "You’re all working very hard, and I’m satisfied...

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What consultants actually do… (sense of humour required)

A shepherd was tending his flock in a field, when a new sports car screeched to a stop on the road nearby in a cloud of dust. The driver, a young man in expensive designer clothes and sunglasses, leans out of the window and shouts over to the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have here, can I take one?" The shepherd looks up slowly up at the young man, then looks at his peaceful flock, and calmly answers, "Sure,...

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