America Isn’t a Competitive Threat

I hope this got your attention because it certainly got mine as I recently listened to Dennis Pawley, former Executive Vice President of Chrysler Automotive Manufacturing and an original co-founder of The Lean Learning Center, reflect on his near fifty-year career working to change American business. As he reflected, he shared a story of one of his countless trips to Japan in which he toured a Toyota plant with an executive at Toyota Motor Manufacturing. As they walked the plant, Dennis asked him why they open up their doors so willingly to outsiders and show others the secrets to their success. Dennis’ question was met with a firm, immediate response of ‘because America will never change the way they operate.’ I would imagine that the shock on Dennis’ face motivated further explanation from the Toyota executive who proceeded to explain his position by sharing the fable of the frog and the scorpion. For those of you unfamiliar with the fable, I’ll share the highlight reel. A scorpion sits on the bank of a stream, trying to figure out how to get to the other side, when he encounters a frog. He asks the frog to carry him across the stream [...]