A few years old, but still insightful--especially in the wake of the recent management letter to the Board of Trustees that asserted that we must rely on more part-time faculty.
A Japanese company and a US company decided to have a canoe race.
Both teams practiced long and hard to reach peak performance levels. On the big day the Japanese won by a mile.
Afterwards the USA team became discouraged and depressed. The management decided to discover the reason for the crushing defeat. A Measurment Team made up of senior management was formed to discover the cause and recommend remedial action. The conclusion of their report was that the Japanese had 1 person steering and 8 rowing, whereas the USA had 8 steering and 1 rowing.
The management team hired a consultant company and paid them a large retainer. They advised that too many were steering and too few rowing.
The company did not want to lose to the Japanese next year, so they reorganized the rowing teams management sector. This led to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents, and 1 steering assistant manager.
They also implemented a new incentive system for the 1 rower. It was called 'The Rowing Team Quality First Program." There were meetings and dinners, and a free pen for the rower. The motto: we must empower the rower through enrichment.
The next year they lost to the Japanese by two miles.
The management laid off the rower for poor performance, stopped the development of the new canoe, sold the paddles and halted all capital investments for new equipment. They then use the money they saved to award High Performance awards to the steering managers. The rest of the money was distributed to the senior management as bonuses.