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Armed Forces Canoe Races

The Navy, Army, and the Air Force decided to have a canoe race on the Potomac River. Each team practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Navy won by a mile. Afterwards, the Air Force team became very
discouraged and depressed.

The officers of the Air Force team decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A "Metrics Team," made up
of senior officers was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. They concluded that the primary difference
between the two teams was that the Navy had 4 seamen, 4 Marines paddling and 1 officer steering, while the Air Force had 1 airman
paddling and 8 officers and NCOs steering.

So the senior officers of the Air Force team hired a consulting company and paid them incredible amounts of money. The consultants
delivered a three volume report, and advised that too many people were steering the boat and not enough people were paddling.

To prevent losing to the Navy again the next year, the Air Force Chief of Staff made sweeping changes: the canoe team's organizational was realigned to 4 steering officers, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering NCO.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 airman paddling the boat greater incentive to work harder.
It was called the "Air Force Canoe Team Quality Program," with meetings, dinners, and a three-day pass for the paddler. "We must give the paddler empowerment and enrichment through this quality program."

The next year the Navy won by 2 miles. Humiliated, the Air Force leadership gave a letter of reprimand to the paddler for poor
performance, initiated a $4 billion program for development of a new joint-service canoe, blamed the loss on a design defect
in the paddles,and issued career continuation bonuses and leather rowing jackets to the beleaguered steering officers in the hopes they would stay for next year's race.

The Army team, meanwhile, having only recently obtained funding for a boat, is trying to figure out why the oars keep making
divots in the grass when they're rowing.

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