Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A Boat Race.

The Boat Race.

Well, the Olympics have come to an end and life can get back to some sense of normality. I for one can get back to no longer burning the candle at both ends and get to bed at a reasonable hour. I have always enjoyed watching sport even more since I participated in so many marathons and half marathons. A knowledge of what it actually feels like to be exhausted and yet still have to give more, makes for interesting viewing.

Now we will have the media trying to milk every last drop from what there is left before it fades into the memory banks. Already the directors of sport are putting down the markers for greater funding for the next four years. Sport need to be careful of all this because it can easily end up not with greater success but with a striving for more and more and the vision of the race can be lost. 

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 mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. 

A management 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 American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. So American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. 

To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganised to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents 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 Programme' , 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.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and cancelled 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.

I have a feeling that this sounds familiar. It is a simple matter to lose sight of the vision and no corner of life is exempt from the folly of greed. We can get so caught up in the winning that we lose sight of the participation. There can be no winners if there is nobody left in the race to compete with. 

We might never stand on the podium of life but to have given of our best  is the greater measure of success. 

No comments:

Post a Comment