Sunday, January 17, 2016

Flagging a problem

“You are required,” decreed the Grand Frommaj to one of his Trusted Advisors, “To talk to all the other Trusted Advisors and then to submit your proposals to the Directorate of Rubber Stamps for approval.”

Not wishing to disobey a Frommaji decree, the Trusted Advisor did so. He and other Advisors met, formed a consensus, and then the Trusted Advisor went to the Directorate to obtain his Rubber Stamp of approval. 

Which was summarily rejected. 

The Directorate of Rubber Stamps, who was the final approving authority, advised that the flagpoles had to be blue in colour, and all the banners needed to be a uniform shade of red. The Trusted Advisor took these new requirements away, made changes to his drawings, and then resubmitted. After several more meetings during which the shades of red and blue were tweaked and adjusted, the Directorate of Rubber Stamps at last provided a final and irrevocable approval.

And they all lived happily ever after? Not as such.

A second Trusted Advisor, and a third, each received his own feedback and final approval. Except that they’d both been required to provide green flagpoles and yellow banners, or black flagpoles and orange banners. Each Trusted Advisor had explained that what he was told to do differed from the other Advisors’ proposals, but the Directorate assured each that this one was the correct one.

All three Trusted Advisors met and discussed the issue as had been instructed by the Grand Frommaj. It was obvious that a single solution could not be developed. The Ministry of Paper Clips stepped in and helpfully pointed out that it was entirely the Trusted Advisors’ fault that these three different designs had all been approved when a single design was required by the approving authority, the Directorate of Rubber Stamps.

And so, because the Directorate of Rubber Stamps could not lose face, he refused to change any of his previous approvals. All three sets of flagpoles and banners were supplied and erected, and blame for the subsequent ridicule in the international press was laid firmly at the feet of the Trusted Advisors.


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