The Coast Guard Management (red) and the Lighthouse Keepers (green) agreed to engage in a yearly boat race. Each team would contain eight (8) men. Both teams practiced hard to get in the best shape and to reach their peak performance levels. On the big day they both felt ready to win. The Lighthouse Keepers won by a mile!
The Management team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Coast Guard Management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found because they were going to win the race next year. So they established a panel of auditors to observe the problem and see if there were any differences between the teams.
After several weeks of humming and hawing, the auditors could only find one difference: the Lighthouse Keeper’s team had seven people rowing and one person as Captain; the Management team had one person rowing and seven people as Captain.
Not at all confused by the data from the auditors, the Management showed great wisdom and hired a consulting firm to analyse the data and to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action so they could win next year.
After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm came to the conclusion that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing on the Management team. Based on the analysis, a solution was brought forward: the structure of the Management team had to be changed
So as race day neared again, the Coast Guard team’s Management went into high gear and the structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: three Captains, two area steering Managers who reported to one Senior Director, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.
The next year, the Lighthouse Keepers won by TWO miles!!!
Humiliated beyond belief, the Management team immediately fired their their rower for poor performance.
A bonus was paid to the Captains, Directors and Managers for the strong leadership and motivation they showed preparing for the race, and as an incentive for them to find a better rower for the next year’s race.
The consulting company prepared a new analysis based on the information received from this year’s race. According to the report, all Management personnel had performed admirably, but the problem lay in the boat used, which was not included in the original assessment.
As of now, the Coast Guard Management team is having a new boat designed, and has out-sourced the position of rower to a firm in India.
Another version that was sent to me: