A Modern Parable

Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motor) 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 man y 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.