Bianque was a famous physician in ancient China. One day the King of Wei asked him, "You and your two brothers are all skilled in medicine, which of you is the best?"
Bianque answered, "My eldest1 brother is the best, the next is my second brother , and the last is me."
The King asked again, "Then how is it that you are the most famous?"
Bianque replied, "My eldest brother treats a disease when it is just beginning to show symptoms. What he does is to remove the pathogen--members of my family can all see that but other people cannot. That's why he doesn't enjoy wide recognition. My second brother cures a disease in its early stages. People thus mistake him as only capable of treating minor2 illnesses. So he is merely known within this locality and its neighborhood. As for me, I treat a disease when it is already well developed and very serious. People observe me perform bloodletting by injecting tubes into vessels3 or applying medical ointment4 on the skin, and thus look upon me as well versed5 in medicine. So I have become well known all over the country."
The King was quite satisfied and said, "You've given a cogent6 explanation."
What we can learn from the story is this: Prevention is better than control, which in turn is better than remedy after the event. It's a pity that many enterprise managers fail to see this and try to seek remedies after wrong decisions have incurred7 great losses, which, they will find, may be too late to make up for.