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Thread: A Modern Parable

  1. #1
    Regular Member Tadpole's Avatar
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    Default A Modern Parable

    A Modern Parable.

    A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford 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 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 had 8 people rowing and 1 person
    steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people

    Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a
    consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second

    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, 2 area steering
    superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

    They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2
    people 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 rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes
    and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The
    pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the
    resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and
    teamwork posters.

    The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

    Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted
    development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all
    capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed
    to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

    The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to
    even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for
    unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next
    year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

    Sadly, the End.

    Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty
    years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make
    money paying American wages.

    TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants
    inside the US The last quarter's results:

    TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

    Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...
    and now they want a bail out!


  2. #2
    Ex Vec-C Admin / Founder Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    How true!

  3. #3
    Regular Member MysteryElite's Avatar
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    Sadly, while the scale of losses may be, the approach is not unique to the car industry either!

  4. #4
    Regular Member Zark's Avatar
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    sums it up for me...

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