A Japanese company and an American company 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 half a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A team 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, senior 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, senior manangment totally reorganized the rowing team's management structure to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering supervisors, 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 but all that remained stuck in several committees waiting for senior management approval. The next year the Japanese won by a mile. Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, transferred the entire rowing team management staff to a newly created Special Projects department, 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 outsourced to India. Sadly, The End. Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages and benefits. 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. THIS ALSO, IF IT WEREN'T ABSOLUTELY TRUE, MIGHT BE FUNNY.