hat tip to reader Jack for this example of reading making the rounds of car dealers:
Subject: An example of American management expertise.
It’s nice when they use an analogy to show what’s really going on – then we can understand it better. This should be sent to GM !!!
Toyota and GM decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.
Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
BUT on the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.
The Americans, tired 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 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. So American management hired a consulting company referred to them by the US Government and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.
The consultants advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized into 3 steering supervisors, 1 area steering superintendents, 1 publicity manager, 1 HR diversity coordinator, 1 union rep, and a rower.
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 a lunch and a free company pen for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and performance-tied bonuses but that decision was held up in committee.
BUT 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 from all sales and all fore casted moneys saved from further competition was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was out-sourced to India.