Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sacred Zombie Cows: An Idea I've Rustled

I came across this little piece of art work while renewing my acquaintance with Gaping Void.



Hugh MacLeod created this artwork on the back of a business card as one of his Cube Grenaede commissions.  This piece was done for David Gamel at Orpreneur.  Gamel explains the zombie cow as follows:

Enter the sacred zombie cow. Sacred zombie cows are the purest manifestation of crap within an organization. These are programs, products and services that are a net negative to the company and yet are incredibly hard to kill. They no longer have a strong sponsor on the scene but still they shamble along, eating up resources.
People tend to walk around sacred zombie cows like they are just a piece of furniture, ignoring how utterly dangerous they are.
Peter Drucker, the godfather of business strategy, said that the most innovative companies are those that are ruthless about stopping things. They maniacally root out and destroy sacred zombie cows, like a Van Helsing in Dockers.
Education has so many sacred zombie cows that we need Van Helsing to lead a posse of Heracles, Thor, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and She-Hulk to deal with a herd that size.  Hell, we might even need a young John Wayne, a young James Arness and the whole cast of Silverado to round up the zombie doggies and send them to slaughter.

Even more frightening than cows that have returned from the dead and refuse to die again is the fact that we keep adding more of these undead hamburgers on the hoof.  We want standards, but the evidence that standards work is hardly conclusive.

Further, education does a better job of organizing circular firing squads than it does of organizing an effective posse.  National politicians, state and local politicians, school boards, administrators, high school teachers, junior high teachers, elementary teachers, and students of all ages can see the zombie sacred cows in other constituencies.  Everyone is willing to turn others' beasts in to zombie beef, but they will get in the way of every silver bullet aimed at their own undead bovine.

MacLeod doesn't like "endless droning on about nothing, the endless tedium that is your career…," and I think he's right; therefore, I'll look at the crap in the way I teach and try to kill a few of my own zombie cows instead of worrying about things I can't control. Lord knows, I've probably got a corral full.

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