Forwarded Message Follows
American and Japanese Management Differences
The Americans and the
Japanese decided to engage in a competitive boatrace.
Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance. On the big
day they both felt ready.
The Japanese won by a mile!
Afterward, the American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged.
Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to
be found, so a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommend
The consultant's findings: the Japanese team had eight people rowing and one
person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering.
After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consulting
firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing
on the American team.
So, as race day neared again the following year, the American team's management
structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: four steering managers,
three area steering managers, one staff manager and a new performance review
system for the person rowing the boat, to provide incentives.
The Japanese won by two miles!
Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance
and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.