Operational Excellence?

Posted by M ws On Wednesday, March 6, 2013 0 comments

Once upon a time, an American company and a Japanese company decided to have competitive boat race on the Bear River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance.

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 losses and morale began to sag. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A The "Continuous Improvement Team" was established to investigate the problem and to recommend appropriate corrective action.

THEIR CONCLUSION: The problem was that the Japanese Team had eight people rowing and one person steering, whereby the American Team had one person rowing and eight people 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 were rowing.

To prevent losing to the Japanese again, the American Team's management structure was totally reorganized to three Steering Director, three Steering Managers, and two Steering Supervisors. Also a new performance system for the person rowing the boat was developed to give more incentive to work harder.

"We must give him empowerment and enrichment. That ought to do it."

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower to "cut costs, sold all of the paddles, canceled all capital investments for new equipment, halted development of a new canoe, gave a "Superior Performance" award to the consulting firm, and distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.

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A Frenchmen is calmly having his breakfast when an American (noisily chewing gum) sits beside him.

The Frenchman ignores the American who (not happy about this) starts a conversation.

American: "Do you eat the whole bread?"

French (in a bad mood): "Of course!"

American: "We don't. We only eat what is inside and the outside we put together in a container, recycle it,
transform it into croissants and sell it to France."

The French listens in silence.

The American insists: "Do you eat the bread with jam?"

French (now more annoyed): "Of course!"

American: "We don't. We eat fresh fruit for our breakfast, put all the seed and the rest in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam and sell the jam to France."

The Frenchman then asks: "And what do you do with condoms once you used them?"

American: "We throw them away, of course!"

French: "We don't. We put them in a container, recycle them, transform them into chewing gum and sell it to America."

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