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JUNE 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 6



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Management: A Case Study

Due to the large volume of complaints about management stupidity they receive on a daily basis, the Center for the Analysis of Everything Imaginable has invested large amounts of time and money into a groundbreaking study of management habits and trends. After 45 minutes and two large Mountain Dews, Joseph Q. Bikle, B.A., determined that American management possesses similar thought patterns to an excited puppy chasing its own tail. There's always lots of activity without result. Bikle cites the following in-depth and carefully monitored simulation as conclusive evidence of his claims.

A team of Americans and a team of Japanese engaged in a competitive boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance.

On the big day they felt ready. The Japanese eventually 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 recommended corrective action.

The consultant's finding: 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 consultant 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 and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.

The next year, 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.

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