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Thinking A Japanese company and the USPS management 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 mile. Afterward, the USPS Mgmt. team became very discouraged and morally depressed. The USPS Mgmt. team decided the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A Mgmt. 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 USPS team had 8 people steering and one person rowing.
So USPS management hired a consulting company and paid them an incredible amount of money. They advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.
To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the rowing teamís management structure was totally reorganized to 4 postmaster steering supervisors. 3 area steering managers, and one carrier to row the boat. 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 Voice of the Employee Bonus Program, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. We must give the rower the empowerment and enrichments through this quality program.
The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the USPS Mgmt. team laid off the
rower and wrote him up for unsatisfactory
performance, halted the development of a new
canoe, sold the paddles, and cancelled all
capital investments for new equipment. Then they
distributed the money saved as bonuses to the
And they wonder why we are losing money! Go figure!