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Monday funny – When management gets too top heavy

Posted by Madbot on Oct 9, 2010 in Human Observation, Workplace Observation

A good friend sent me this little gem:

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. 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 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

So American management hired a consulting company and
paid them a large
amount of money for a second opinion. They 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 to 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.

There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes
and other equipment,
extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

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 saved was distributed to the Senior
Executives as bonuses and the
next year’s racing team was outsourced to India.

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