I received this e-mail and had to share… 🙂
A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors)
decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced
long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese team won by a mile.
The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate
the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior
management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.
Their conclusion was the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person
steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person
rowing. So American management hired a consulting company and paid them
a large amount of money for a second opinion.
They advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not
enoughpeople were rowing. To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the
American’s rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to
4 Steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant
Superintendent steering manager .
They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1
person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called
the “Rowing Quality First Program,” with meetings, dinners and free pens
for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and
other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.
The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor
performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and
canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was
distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s
racing team was outsourced to India.