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A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Mississippi 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, 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 7 people steering and 2 people 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, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people 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 rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to ‘equal the competition’ and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold 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, and collecting bonuses…

日本丰田汽车公司和美国福特公司决定在密西西比河上进行一场独木舟比赛。

两个队进行了长时间的练习,比赛之前难以达到其最佳表现。

比赛那天,日本队以一英里的优势取胜。

灰心丧气的美国队决定调查大败原因。他们组织了一个由高级管理人员组成的管理团队,分析原因并提出适当的作战计划。

分析结果出来了:日本队有八人划船,一人掌舵;而美国队有七人掌舵,两人划船。美国管理团队认为有必要进行更深入的研究,于是,他们重金雇用了一家咨询公司进行二次分析。自然,咨询公司也认为掌舵人太多、而划船人数不够才导致了这样的结局。

在不知道如何利用这一信息、又怕再次输给日本队的情况下,美国队彻底重组了他们的比赛团队管理机构:这次出场的是 4 名舵手监督、2 名分区域主舵、1 名掌舵经理助理。

他们还实行了新的绩效体系,以使两名划船队员有巨大的动力去努力工作。这一绩效体系被称为“划船队质量第一体系”。划船队员可以得到接见、晚餐和自由笔。他们还就购买新划桨、独木舟和其它设备、提供额外假期供其练习以及提供奖金进行了讨论。养老金被削减,用于“赞助比赛”,省下来的一部分钱用于鼓舞士气和团队合作海报方面的支出。

第二年,日本队赢了 2 英里。美国队管理层很没面子,于是他们辞退了一名划船队员,停止了新独木舟的开发,卖掉了所有的划桨,取消了所有的新设备投资。省下来的钱以奖金的形式发给了高管们。

又过了一年,唯一一名上场划手竟然没能完成比赛,因业绩不佳而被辞退。美国队卖掉了所有的设备,把下一年的比赛团队外包给了印度。

一个可悲的结局!

由此所想到的:

福特用了 30 年的时间,把它所有的工厂迁出了美国,声称他们赚的钱付不起美国人的工资;

而丰田则用了 30 年的时间,在美国境内建了十几个工厂。

最后一个季度的结果显示:丰田获得了 40 亿的利润,而福特则获得 90 亿的亏损。

福特人仍然在搔着头皮、聚敛着奖金…

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