canoe race

Posted on March 6, 2006


> A Japanese company and an American company 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 won by a
> mile.
> Afterward, the American team became very discouraged and depressed. The
> American company decided the reason for their crushing defeat had to be
> found. A Management Team made up of senior executives was formed to
> investigate and recommend appropriate action. They discovered that the
> Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American
> team had 8 people steering and one person rowing.
> The American Management Team hired a consulting firm to assist in
> analyzing this data, happily paying their considerable fee. After six
> onths of hard work, the consulting firm concluded that too many people
> ere steering the Americans’ boat, while not enough people were rowing. So
> the American Team acted:
> To prevent losing to the Japanese again the following year, the team’s
> management structure was totally reorganized, to include 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 for the rower. In an all-out attempt to
> further provide empowerment and enrichment’s to the rower, new paddles
> and medical benefit incentives were promised in exchange for a victory in
> the next competition.
> The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American
> Management Team 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 for a
> job well done.”

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