|A Modern Parable|
|A Japanese company and an
American company decided to have a canoe race.
Both teams practiced - on the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.
The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.
A management team was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.
8 people rowing and
1 person steering,
8 people steering and
1 person rowing.
|Feeling a deeper
study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and
paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.
They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.
Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the 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 Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens and a certificate of completion 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 (a reduction in workforce) 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 "out-sourced" to India...|
Ford folks are still scratching their heads.
(2010 update Ford net income $ 6 billion, Toyota net income $2.6 billion)
IF THIS WASN'T SO SAD IT
MIGHT BE FUNNY!
Footnote 2007: Toyota beats
GM in global vehicle production