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February 2008
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Teamwork Comparison: Toyota vs. Ford

Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford) 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.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

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

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized 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 Program,' 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 canceled 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 out-sourced to India.

Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about:

Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

Toyota has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

The last quarter's results:

Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

Group Coaching for Team & Leadership Development Professionals

Next Group Coaching Session

Friday March 21, 2008 from 11 am - 12 pm EST (New York City time zone) convert your time HERE

Tuesday March 25, 2008 from 11 am - 12 pm EST (New York City time zone) convert your time HERE

What is Group Coaching?

Group Coaching is a simple yet powerful process:  A group of like-minded people gather (virtually) on a conference call to help each other.

On a specified day and time (see above) members of the community call a special telephone number to connect to the Group Coaching call where Teamwork Coach Tom Heck is your host.

The Group Coaching call is essentially a conference line where anyone can talk and all can hear.  Tom takes questions and provides "laser" coaching and best of all, other callers can provide additional feedback and suggestions.

Group Coaching involves intuitive listening, constructive feedback, thought-provoking questions, identifying solutions and options, creating successful action plans, identifying obstacles that might limit the individual's success, and implementation of the plan.

You may come to the call with a question or you may just want to listen in and get inspired.

Group Coaching works because we leverage the combined experience, knowledge, wisdom, and perspective from everyone on the call and this accelerates the learning and growth so goals are achieved with less time and effort.  You feel the support of the other like-minded participants and it's energizing!

Who Should Attend?

You should attend a Group Coaching call if you want to leverage the power of a community of like-minded individuals.

Only those who are paid members of may attend.  Become a member HERE.


Free to all members of  Become a member HERE.

Number to Call

Login to the Members Only Area at HERE and then click on "Schedule" to find the special phone number to call.

How To Collaborate: Massive experiment with 2,700 people and 1200 ideas to create ONE awesome new product

Do you collaborate well?

At the annual TED Conference Ben Kaufman of Kluster, an online collaboration and decision-making platform, headed up a collaboration experiment involving 2700 people from around the world.

The goal was to create a brand new product - collaboratively.  And they did!  All in just 72 non-stop hours.

They created a new board game (prototype) called "Over There" and it's dubbed "the game of global awareness".

The game was inspired by a 2006 TED talk by prominent American philosopher Dan Dennett.

Overtherepreview Kaufman says they set out one morning during the TED conference to develop a product, with some basic guidelines but "we didn't know what it would be".

They set up a studio in the conference's venue, and got 208 ideas submitted in 24 hours.

Collaboratively, it was decided that it would be an education board game; the content for it was developed; a name chosen ("OverThere" -- the logo was submitted by a participant online); the rules set; a tagline developed; a full prototype developed (photo).

72 hours, 2,700 participants, a board game "of social awareness" collectively invented, developed and prototyped: a pretty awesome piece of work.

Read more HERE.

Do you manage (lead) Gen-Y employees?  If yes then you better understand collaboration skills because Gen-Y loves to collaborate.  If you aren't actively promoting collaboration in your organization then you'll end up watching Gen-Y employees walk out the door. 

No collaborate - - No Gen-Y.

The best way to lead Gen-Y is to become a Coach Manager.  Coach Managers are skilled at leading in a collaborative win-win way.  Learn how to become a Coach Manager HERE

Leadership TeleClass: Reorient Around Your (Team) Values

Values.  Virtually every team (organization) has invested some time (perhaps significant time) determining their key values.

Here are the values of one very large and famous company: 

  • Communication
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Excellence

Do these represent your own organization’s values?  If yes, you should be concerned.

These are the corporate values of Enron as stated in the company’s 2000 annual report.


Enron simply went through the motions of creating their organizational values.  Obviously, these values didn’t mean much.  The stated values were simply part of the amazing and deceitful scam they were running.

The organizational values Enron listed were in direct contrast with the personal values held by the management team.

The Enron leadership deceived themselves thinking a hollow set of organizational values would somehow save them from their own self-destructive personal values.


Before you can create a set of values for the organization you must FIRST identify / clarify your own personal values.


Your personal values are the building blocks that allow you to see the big picture and move forward with clarity.

Trying to identify and establish the the team’s core values without first identifying your own is like trying to drive a car while wearing sunglasses covered in mud.  It’s a huge distraction to say the least!

In this Leadership TeleClass you’ll learn how to get clear on your personal values AND learn how to reorient your entire life around these values.

Why work on your personal values?  Because leaders go FIRST.

You must become clear on YOUR values before you can help your team do their work.

There is no other way

If you’re on a team and it’s time to identify the team's core values and you haven’t first done the work yourself then you risk ending up like Enron.  What would you expect driving with sunglasses covered in mud?

When you understand what it means to clarify and then reorient your life around your core values you’ll get what Patrick Lencioni (best selling author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”) means when he says:

“When properly practiced, values inflict pain”.


Yes, pain.

Here’s what Lencioni says about real, meaningful and honest team values:

“They make some employees feel like outcasts.  They limit an organization’s strategic and operational freedom and constrain the behavior of it’s people.  They leave executives open to heavy criticism for even minor violations.”

In other words, operating from a solid and authentic set of values will set you (and your organization) apart and help you clearly define who you are and what you stand for.

And the ONLY way you’ll ever be able to have the strength to establish values like these is when you’ve done the work on a PERSONAL level FIRST.

It’s the Law of Correspondence:  As within, so without.

Benefits of Living from Your Core Values (personally and organizationally)

  • Goal setting is easier and goals can be reached more quickly.
  • Your life purpose/vision comes to you more clearly.
  • Fewer distractions occur; life is simple, but rich.

I invite you to join me as we explore and clarify your personal values in this special IATF Leadership TeleSeminar.

Purchase The Recording & Class Notes:  $79  These resources are now only available to IATF members.  Learn more about the member benefits and join HERE