Once upon a time, a short time ago, in a place near here and in a way that seems like yesterday, there was a Tortoise and a Hare.
Both worked at LION Co, which had its fair share of the industry it was in, a fact that matters little here.
Both had worked hard, in their own ways, to get where they were with LION Co.
And both had moved beyond their cramped little cubicles and into their own, more spacious dens.
This is not to say their styles were even remotely the same for they worked as night and day.
The Tortoise, who resembled a large turtle but wasn't, worked long and hard, slow and steady and was constantly finding little ways to trim the budget and improve the way things worked.
In fact the Tortoise had been working for months on a plan that would, when all the pieces were in place, cut costs in its division by an additional four per cent which when you worked your department lean was a very hard thing to do.
The Hare, who resembled a large rabbit but wasn't, preferred to jut in and out of its hole, quickly checking on things and scurrying back before anyone could corner it with concerns about how the department was cruising without direction.
Often times the Hare's crew would have to rush ahead and block the entrance to the den just to keep the Hare from disappearing on them before their concerns could be discussed.
Even when cornered though the Hare would just sit back and listen, its nose twitching and making everyone nervous before dismissing the concerns with a confidence shattering "We'll see".
Things went on this way for many months, the Tortoise working hard, cutting little corners here and there, reworking functions until they moved better, working toward the changes that would result in larger savings for LION Co.
The Hare continued its ways too, jutting about, sure that things were working fine, rushing to and fro, handing much of its workload to its employees before sprinting off home all the while seeing no improvement in the any of the things that were handled in its division.
Then, one day, the LION came to visit and gathered all the managers and leaders around so they could present to the LION how their operations were performing.
After listening carefully to each of the presentations the LION yawned and thought and then gave them the task of improving the numbers "at least ten per cent better than where you are today" and so off they went.
The Tortoise looked at its reports and saw that it had made steady improvements over the previous year, twelve per cent already. "Oh boy" said the Tortoise, "slow and steady has really paid off."
The Hare looked at its reports and saw that no improvement had been made at all over the previous year, in fact the numbers had gone exactly the wrong direction increasing costs by eight per cent. "Oh no" said the hair, "I had better fix things fast!"
Quickly rustling through all the papers it had, listing all the suggestions the staff had been pushing for in the months and year previous, the Hair quickly saw eleven per cent that could immediately be saved and with a flurry of activity saw that much of it was done.
Later they returned to the LION and the Hare presented all the thoughts that could have fixed so much, so many months earlier.
The LION, seeing the eleven per cent, was pleased for that was more than anyone else had come up with and one more than the LION had asked for.
The Tortoise presented its strategy, which included the four per cent that was planned for, but when pressed by the LION the Tortoise could not promise the four per cent any time soon.
Desperate the Tortoise showed how much had been saved over the last year but the LION dismissed that as "past performance" claiming to be interested only in where they were going.
Later the managers and leaders dined on a hearty spread, among which included Tortoise soup.
MORAL 1: Rest not on your laurels but instead rest on the good ideas until the pressure's on you.
MORAL 2: A little now beats a lot a little while ago.