Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The People of Lothimos

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Kingdom called the Grellada. Grellada had breathtaking landscape and people all over the world often came and visited the kingdom.

Laid on the south side to Grellada was the kingdom of Lothimos. People of Lothimos were very rich - about ten times richer than the people of Grellada. However, it was said that people in Lothimos were stupid. Esteban, king of Grellada was very puzzled about the saying and wanted to find out if it was true. Although Grellada was a much-visited country, there had been nobody from Lothimos who came to visit. There were only sayings about the mystery kingdom. Esteban wanted to know why that was the case. So he sent out an ambassador to stand on the very south border of his kingdom wishing he could come across people from Lothimos.

A year had gone by and still there was no visitor from Lothimos. Esteban became even more puzzled. Determined to find a Lothimos visitor, the king sent out 1,000 ambassadors to stand along the entire borderline of his country facing each direction.

One day, one of his ambassadors from the very west side of the border rushed into the king's palace to deliver some breaking news. The ambassador said,

"Your majesty, I've talked to a man from Lothimos yesterday."

"Tell me about him. What is his country like? And why they never came to our country?"

"Your majesty, it seems that the saying about Lothimos is indeed true, you know, that they are rich and stupid."

"How did you know?" the king turned impatient.

"The man from Lothimos had a great carriage driven by three big horses. I asked him where he was going to. The man said, 'I'm going to the beautiful country of Grellada'. I asked him, 'then why you are heading to the west? Our kingdom is on the north side of your country.' The man then said, 'I had the strongest and the fastest horse in the world.' I said 'but Grellada is on the north side of your country'. The man then told me, 'I have the best carriage made by the top craftsmen in the world.' I was more confused and told him 'but our country is to the north'. He then said 'I also have a lot of money on me, enough to last me for 10 years'. Then the man from Lothimos sped off with his grand horses and carriage."

Moral: A project with no clear objectives and vision is like a traveler with no directions. All it can do is to roam around purposelessly and it will fail at the end. Defining the objectives and making a master plan of the projective before implementation will help the project head to the right direction and succeed. No matter how rich your resources are, without a clear objective, there is no way to fulfill the goal.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.