Steering committee

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People Anatomy

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A steering committee, yesterday.

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Steering committee /ˈstɪərɪŋ/ /kəˈmɪti/ (n.)

We do not find it remarkable that, in a century and a half of automotive technology, the drafters of the Highway Code have never once found the space to sanction the operation of a motor-vehicle by consensus. A car is more likely — these days, far more likely — effectively to drive itself than it is to be driven by a committee.

A committee will steer it into the nearest wall. Indeed, only the physical impossibility of the same unitary object travelling in two directions at once would prevent a committee steering into every wall.

These are truths we hold to be self-evident.

Yet — every day, in every organisation, thousands of well-intentioned employees spend their lives on, subject to, being broken on a wheel by, or being vigorously propelled about the confines of their employer's premises like tiny passengers in a deflating balloon thanks to the resolutions of, steering committees.

Most metaphors don’t bear close examination. This one does.

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