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A modern parable

Discussion in 'Jokes' started by Tamildownunder, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (General 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 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

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

    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, 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 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.
     
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  2. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Good Case study!!
     
  3. So Sure

    So Sure Senior IL'ite

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    hi Tamizha,
    That is soooooooo right!
    When i worked at Nextel (IT Of Course!), in my group , we had 2 programmers/developers, 2 analysts/testers, 2 managers, 1 technical manager, 1 project manager, 1 program manager, 1 senior manager. It was crazy. They knew nothing about what we were doing! If i tell them i need 4 weeks to finish a job, they will ask me to do it in 2 weeks. :idontgetit: .They are not managers! They are 'man agers'! I told them we need extra resources. They added another person who was a hardware engr!! :bang
    There was a major bug fix to be done. So i said i need a week. In the project plan the manager projects, half day for the executable and four and half days for documentation! :rotfl It is no use explaining to them that i need 4and 1/2 days for the development and 1/2 day for documentation!

    Now, Bush is asking kids to study Math and Science. So, Kumon (Japanese) is making money!

    Regards,
    Sharada
     
  4. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Thank you, Punitha.
     
  5. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks for bringing the inefficient way some Indian companies are operating. When I was in Japan (for two weeks only) I came across so many instances to know why Japan had developed so fast after the second world war.

    1. In the morning when I used to travel to the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute in Ibraki, on either side of the road I found workers waiting to get into the factories and during that time they were not gossiping, but doing physical exercises. Whereas in U.S where I am working people take 2 hours off during the day in office to do running, jogging etc. It may be good for their health, but office time is frittered.
    2. When a product to be developed in Japan, the manager calls for a brain storming meeting of all concerned irrespective of their ranks, takes their opinions and brings out the product. What is most important here, once the product comes every one say it is our product. Whereas I am sure in India or in U.S, the manager will claim the product is his development.
    3. Workers working in production line refuse to go home after retirement. They say 'please allow us to continue and we will help the youngsters in the production line and will take whatever retirement benefits are there'. I used to think jovially, it is the reverse case in India. People take VRs to get the benefits and don't want to come to office again.

    When I studied business management course in Mumbai, we were asked the famous question. What is management? is it getting work done by others or getting work done with others?. First called theory X has come from slave days and second theory called theory Y has come from Japan.

    Regards,

    TDU
     
  6. So Sure

    So Sure Senior IL'ite

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    hi Tamizha,

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience with the Japanese. Btw, Nextel is an American wireless sevice provider. They joined Sprint last year.

    Regards,
    Sharada
     
  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    It is a cool study.
     

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