Once upon a time, two companies, one American and one Japanese, decided to have a boat
race on the Tennessee River; Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak
On the big day, they both felt as ready as they could be.....
The Japanese won by a mile!
Afterwards, the American team became very discouraged by the loss, and morale sagged; Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found; A Corporate Steering Committee was set up to investigate the problem and recommend appropriate corrective action;
The problem was that the Japanese had eight people rowing and one person steering; whereas the American team had one person rowing and eight persons steering.
The American Corporate Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to do
a study on the management structure; After some time and millions 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 team's management structure was totally reorganized to four Steering Managers, three Area Steering Managers, one Staff Steer Manager, and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to encourage him/her to row harder....
The next year the Japanese won by two miles!!
Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance, sold all the paddles, canceled all capital investments for new equipment halted development of a new canoe; Gave High Performance Award to the consulting firm, and distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.....
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