Corporate Boat Race

An American automobile company and a Japanese auto company
decided to have a competitive boat race on the Detroit River.

Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance.

On the big day,  They were as ready as they could be.

The Japanese team won by a mile.

Afterwards, the American team became discouraged by the loss and their morale sagged.
Corporate  management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found.  

A Continuous Measurable
improvement Team of "Executives" was set up to
investigate the problem and to recommend appropriate  corrective action.

Their conclusion:
The problem was that the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering,
whereas the American team had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering.

The American Corporate Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to do a study

on the Management structure.

 After some time and billions of dollars,
the consulting firm concluded that

"too many  people were steering and not enough rowing."

 To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year,
the  management structure was changed to

 "4 Steering Managers, 3 Area Steering Managers, and

  1 Staff  Steering Manager"
and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to give more incentive to

work harder and become a six sigma performer.
"We must give him empowerment and enrichment." That  ought to do it.

The next year the Japanese team won by two miles.
The American Corporation laid off the rower for poor performance,
sold all of the paddles,
cancelled all  capital investments for new equipment,
 halted development of a new canoe,
awarded high performance  awards to the consulting firm, and

Distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.

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