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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Family Business Center

Merrily, Merrily

A Japanese company and an American company had a boat race; the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans hired analysts to figure out what went wrong.

They reported that the Japanese had one person managing and seven rowing,while the Americans had seven managing and only one rowing. The American company immediately restructured its team. Now they had one senior manager, six management consultants and one rower.

In the rematch the Japanese won by two miles.

So the American company fired the rower.

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