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The Navigator

Sarah Jo Plucker, in Reader's Digest

When my father's company hired a consultant to improve efficiency, he immediately called a meeting of all shop personnel. In stressing the importance of following a set plan of engineering procedures, he gave this analogy:

"You are on the Titanic, and it's sinking. You find yourself on a lifeboat. It's dark and hazy. Which direction would you row? Now, you're in the same situation, but you have the ship's navigator with you. Which way would you row? You'd row the way the navigator told you to, right?"

In the crowd there were murmurs of agreement until one man in the back piped up. "Well, I don't know," he said. "He already hit one iceberg!"