The boy who cried Wolf

  • Published on: 5 January 2015
  • By: Admin

I am sure that everyone’s childhood would have involved having Aesop’s fable ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ recited to them at some point. A fable tends to be a short story, typically with animals as characters always conveying a moral. So what did we learn from ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’? I know for myself it was along while ago since I last heard the fable, so let’s quickly recap.

There once was a young boy who lived in a village. It is implied that he isn’t very old, but since he had a job, we can only assume that he was 16 or above and was at least being paid minimum wage. As a shepherd, his job was to guard the sheep from any potential danger, especially the wolves. Now the boy knew that he was never really alone because the villagers worked nearby, and if a wolf ever did attack, the people would drop everything they were doing, in order to save the flock of sheep. At this point I am struggling to relate to the story, as this job sounds a lot better than first job. I had to deliver over 150 copies of the local paper come rain or shine and not once did any of the villagers offer to help me by offering to collect their own.

One day, the young lad became bored and attempted to play some games with the sheep. (Not sure what games he tried to play and I think it’s best not to ask.) Strangely enough these games failed so this young genius decided to winded up the entire village. He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted “Wolf!” (hence the name of the fable). At once, every villager stopped what they doing, and came running to help save the flock. And yet in my boyhood village when a young lad’s paper bag strap breaks, distributing the entire contents across the wet pavement, not one villager offers to help. However, 7 do find the time to phone up and complain that their paper is wet.

The next day, the shepherd boy began suffering from a terrible bout of boredom, and began yelled “Wolf!” Again, the villagers stopped everything, only to discover that they had been pranked once again.
On the third day, a wolf did appear and start attacking the sheep. The boy shepherd began crying “Wolf!, but the villagers thought it to be another wind up and ignored his cries. Now the ending of the story varies. I was told at school that at sunset, everyone wondered why the boy shepherd hadn't returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy weeping and he had to explain what happened. My brother insisted that my teacher was not telling it right and the boy died a horrible death and was eaten by the wolf. This was the same brother that told me Silence of the Lambs was a musical.

The moral of the fable is you shouldn’t tell lies as nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth. But to be honest I learnt two different yet valuable lessons from this.

Firstly, never tell the same lie twice. And secondly you need to be very careful when you are outsourcing functions, particularly business critical ones. After the second incident why didn’t the village recruit a new Shepard?

Any major outsourcing agreement is an upheaval and anyone entering into it who thinks otherwise is being naive! There is bedding down period, then BAU (Business As Usual) and then the improvement opportunities and efficiencies that will arise. Will the incumbent come to you offering better SLAs and cost reductions? Unlikely unless the contractual agreements are structured to encourage that type of behaviour, as doing so would make their life harder and erode their margins. However, both are achievable if the correct partner is selected in the correct manner and the contracts are drawn up in a suitable way. Here at exceeding we assist organisations achieve this.

This means selecting the correct provider is not only key to your business, it’s critical. So why not let eXceeding help you achieve this goal, by letting us find the best deal from the right supplier?

For further information on Outsourcing please visit our Outsourcing page

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