Dakota Wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, we in Cleveland often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:
1. Buying a strong whip.
2. Trying a new bit or bridle.
3. Changing riders.
4. Moving the horse to a new location.
5. Riding the horse for longer periods of time.
6. Saying things like, “This is the way we have always ridden this horse.”
7. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
8. Arranging to visit other cities to see how they ride dead horses.
9. Increasing the standards for riding dead horses.
10. Creating a test for measuring our riding ability.
11. Comparing the state of dead horses today.
12. Complaining about the state of dead horses today.
13. Coming up with new styles of riding dead horses.
14. Blaming the horses parents.
15. Tightening the cinch.
16. Passing legislation which declares that “This horse is not dead.”
17. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
18. Trying to resuscitate the dead horse.
19. Praying for the dead horse to be resurrected.
20. Wisdom #1: Convince a stranger that the dead horse is resting up for the next day’s work.
21. Wisdom #2: Sell the dead horse to the stranger.
(I received this in the mid 90's relating to the activities of certain non-profit boards but I believe that it is often relevant to the economic development strategies in shrinking cities.)