• Gambling

    How a Horse Race Is Used in Corporate Governance and Succession Planning

    A horse race is a competition between several horses for the right to be the winner. It is most often used in the sport of horse racing, where horses are staked against one another to win a specific prize. It is also an important part of the succession planning process in some organizations, where the board and current CEO have a series of identified candidates to compete for the top job. While some executives and governance observers have concerns about the horse race approach to selecting a new leader, it has proven effective for a number of highly regarded companies.

    The race was a tough one. A small group of horses had a slight lead, including War of Will, the Preakness champion. Behind them, Mongolian Groom, a dark bay, was running hard for third, with McKinzie close behind. These horses were a hundred pounds or so apart, and they were all running their hearts out. The lower legs of the horses take a real pounding during a race, straining ligaments, tendons, joints. The jockeys urged them on with whipping, encouraging them to run faster and farther.

    Many horses are prone to bleeding from the lungs after hard running, a condition known as exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. To prevent this, they are injected with Lasix on the day of the race. The drug’s diuretic function causes them to urinate epic amounts–twenty or thirty pounds worth.

    Like athletes, thoroughbreds prepare for races by going through a training program. They start out with routine jogs and gallops in the wee hours of the morning. They are conditioned to get used to the strenuous workouts, which can be up to five or six miles long. As they train, the horses are slowly introduced to the rigors of racing.

    In the weeks leading up to a big race, trainers will spend considerable time and money trying to find ways to get their horses to run better. They might tweak their diet, or give them a medication to help with joint issues. They might also give their horses massages to make them more relaxed. Some horses are even given sedatives to keep them calm before the race.

    While some scholars have criticized political journalists for framing elections as a horse race, with frontrunners and underdogs competing for attention, more recently there has been an effort to develop better techniques to analyze poll data to more precisely predict which candidates are likely to win. For example, newsrooms have begun to use probability forecasting, which allows them to present polling results as percentages of the likelihood that a candidate will win over another. This method has been found to be more accurate than simple “winner takes all” reporting. It has also been found to be more empowering for voters by giving them more precise information about their choices. As a result, it is likely to become an increasingly popular way for newsrooms to report on elections. Moreover, it is also much more cost-effective than the traditional way of reporting on an election.