Tag: Consultant

The consultant and the shepherd

Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the edge of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Jeep Cherokee screeches to a halt next to him.

The driver, a young man dressed in a Brioni suit, Cerrutti shoes, Ray-Ban glasses, and a YSL tie gets out and asks the sheperd – If I guess how many sheep you do have, you give me one of them?

The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the sheep which graze and says:
– All right.

The young man parks the car, connects the notebook and the mobile, enters a NASA site, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a data base and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms, then prints a 150-pages
report on his high-tech mini-printer. He then turns to the shepherd and says:
– You have excactly 1586 sheep here.

The shepherd answers:
– That´s correct, you can have your sheep.

The young man takes the sheep and puts in the back of his jeep. The shepherd looks at him and asks:
– If I guess your profession, will you return my sheep to me?

The young man answers:
– Yes, why not.

The shepherd says:
– You are a consultant!

– How did you know?, asks the young man.

– Very simple, answers the shepherd.
– First, you come here without being called. Second, you charge me a sheep to tell me something I already knew. Third, you do not understand anything about what I do, because you took my dog!

The Canoe Race

A Japanese Company and a California Company decided to have a canoe race on the Columbia River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. Afterwards, the California team became very discouraged and depressed. The management of the California company decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A “Measurement Team” made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was that the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the Californians had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering. The Management of the California company hired a consulting company and paid them incredible amounts of money. They advised that too many people were steering the boat and not enough people were rowing. To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program”, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. “We must give the rower empowerment and enrichment through this quality program.”

The next year the Japanese won by 2 miles. Humiliated, the management of the California company laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles and canceled all capital investments for new equipment.

Then they used the money saved by giving a High Performance Award to the steering managers and distributed the rest of the money as bonuses to the senior executives.

Shipwrecked

Ed finally decides to take a vacation. He books himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeds to have the time of his life –until the boat sank. He found himself swept up on the shore of an island with no other people, no supplies…nothing… only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to him. In disbelief, he asks her, “Where did you come from? How did you get here?”

“I rowed from the other side of the island,” she says. “I landed here when my cruise ship sank.”

“Amazing,’ he says. “You were really lucky to have a rowboat wash up with you.”
“Oh, this?’ replies the woman. “I made the rowboat out of raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm branches. And the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree.”

“But, but, that’s impossible,” stutters Ed. “You had no tools or hardware. How did you manage?”
“Oh, that was no problem,” replies the woman. “On the south side of the island, there is a very unusual strata of alluvial rock exposed. I found if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile iron. I used that for tools and used the tools to make the hardware.”

Ed is stunned. “Let’s row over to my place,” she says. After a few minutes of rowing, she docks the boat at a small wharf. As Ed looks onto shore, he nearly falls out of the boat. Before him is a
stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white. While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, he could only stare ahead, dumbstruck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, “It’s not much, but I call it home. Sit down please. Would you like to have a drink?”

“No, no, thank you.’ he says, still dazed. “Can’t take any more coconut juice.” “It’s not coconut juice,” the woman replies. “How about a Pina Colada?”

Trying to hide his continued amazement, he accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they have exchanged their stories, the woman announces, “I’m going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There is a razor upstairs in the cabinet in the bathroom.”

No longer questioning anything, Ed goes into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet, is a razor made from a bone handle. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside of a swivel mechanism. “Wow! This woman is amazing!” he muses, “What next?”

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but vines-strategically positioned-and smelling faintly of gardenias. She beckons for him to sit down next to her. “Tell me,” she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, “We’ve been out here for a really long time. You’ve been lonely. There’s something I’m sure you really feel like doing right now, something you’ve been longing for all these months. You know…” She stares into his eyes.

He can’t believe what he’s hearing: “You mean—“, he swallows excitedly, “I can check my email?!”