Friday, April 19, 2013

American vs Japanese Management ...

A Japanese company and an American company decided to have a canoe race 
in 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 discouraged and depressed. American
management decided the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found.
A management team made up of senior managers was formed to investigate 
and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 
eight people rowing and one person steering, while the American team 
had eight people steering and one person rowing. So American management 
hired a consulting company and paid them an incredible sum. After six 
months, they advised that too many people were steering the boat, while 
not enough people were rowing. To prevent losing to the Japanese again 
next year, the rowing team's management structure was totally 
reorganized to four steering supervisors, three area-steering 
superintendents and one assistant-superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 
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. Even new paddles and medical-benefit 
incentives were promised for a winner. "We must give the rower the 
empowerment and enrichments through this quality program."

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rowers 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.