Tie Silk Blossoms to the Dead Tree

Strategy 29

Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise make something of no value appear valuable; of no threat appear dangerous; of no use, useful.

Modern Example

This reminds me of a telecom company I once knew. In the course of doing database work for them, financial information had to be extracted from their systems and integrated into other sales and forecasting systems. These figures, however, bore no resemblance to the numbers released to investors. Eventually, they went through a bankruptcy. In the course of events, naturally, most of the management resigned or were fired. But not all. The company later emerged from their financial difficulties with much hype and a barrage of well-written press releases. But I knew better. Their current chief financial officer used to be the controller of the division where I saw so much, uh, discrepancy in the numbers...