Monday, April 27, 2015

Greece, Toyota and the Importance of Standards, part 4

By Pascal Dennis

“The new Greek government has totally destroyed the trust of its European partners.”
Wolfgang Schauble

That didn’t take long, did it?

Part 3 of this blog series focused on the importance of basic standards. [Part 1, Part 2]

I talked about the supplier qualification process of our old Toyota Cambridge plant (TMMC).

Our senseis would begin by checking to see whether prospective suppliers could manage the most basic standards.

We checked ‘unimportant’ things, like compliance with fire safety standards (extinguishers, flammable liquids storage etc.)

Rationale: If a supplier can’t manage these, are they Toyota material?

In other words, how can they possible manage to more severe standards? Safety, if you will, is the door to Quality, Delivery and Cost.

Similarly, here at Lean Pathways team, we consider Politeness to be the door to the Great Virtues.

If you can’t manage Politeness, how will you fare with more severe standards like Prudence, Courage or Justice?

If you’re rude to the waiter, do we want to work with you?

Greece’s government, led by ‘radical left-winger’ Alexis Tsipras has gone out of its way to be rude to their European partners. (I suppose Tsipras thinks rudeness is ‘radical’.)

Varoufakis, Greece’s ‘rock star’ Finance minister shows up late for meetings, shirt hanging out, and full of attitude. Adolescent stuff.

His relationship with Wolfgang Schauble and other European counterparts is irreparably damaged, no?

(Other cabinet members are even worse. Greece’s foreign minister, for example, threatens to inundate Europe with refugees.)

The Europeans are getting the message: “Tsipras, Varoufakis et al are rude bozos who cannot be trusted.”

Varoufakis should be replaced of course, but would that be too little, too late? (Can Tsipras fire himself?)

In any event, the Europeans are facing a bigger question: Is Greece EU material?

Best regards,


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