All entries for Tuesday 28 November 2006

November 28, 2006

Some Thought about Today’s Study

I have read something in Deming’s book today. There are some words about the state of Japanese economy in the late 1949s. By the end of 1949, Japan has very little native resources and negative net worth in economy. However, today, Japanese economy is regarded as one of the strongest economy in the world. Moreover, in another side of the world, Germany had a very similar situation with Japan in the late 1940s. And now the German economy is considered as one of the dominating economy in the EU.

Are both situations coincidental? Perhaps not. Whenever someone comes cross a typical Germany or Japanese product, such as BMW, AUDI, SONY, TOSHIBA, etc. there is always a shared comment on those products: high quality. This is the comment that enables the Japanese and Germany economies become the best in the world. As Deming emphasised, quality becomes a shared commitment of all the Japanese companies. There is an advertising sentence from AUDI, “This is the pure German technology”. Why the ‘pure German Technology’ is so special? Because the ‘pure German technology’ contains more than 50 years of quality build commitments. These beliefs enable the German technology becomes the technology that customer could trust and rely on.

All these make me to think about the current reputation about Chinese product. The first comment about Chinese goods is always ‘cheap’, but worth the price. Then in most of time, people would say the quality is not brilliant. Another thing which is happening now in China is that people are selling the natural resources. For instance, we all know both Japanese and Chinese are using chopsticks, but more than 90% of Japanese wood chopsticks are made in China. Moreover, nowadays, in northern China, there are still many factories that are mining coals for generating energy. However, the price that they need to pay is the pollution of surrounding environment. What do all these tell us? It is undoubted that China has an average 8% GDP P.A growth for more than 10 years till now. However, the prices that Chinese need to pay are: the pollution of environment, the healthy of the people, the ‘cheap’ reputation and the labour price as cheap as slave. What about the quality that the feature of Chinese productions on the silk-road one thousand years ago? Do the abilities of Chinese workers shrink? Maybe not. The true reason is when the Japanese and Germen are committing quality as their most important commitment of production, the Chinese are rushed into increase their GDP. However, finally, the GDP rate is just a figure. The increase of GDP does not necessarily mean that people have a better living environment and their living length is extended. Quality can mean any thing: the quality of life, quality of a production and quality of goods. But at least we need to remember there is a need for quality and it can be very important for our life.

Moreover, these make me to think why we don’t have quality life in China. Any kind of organization should have a leader. The responsibility of the leaders is to guide the people on the right track. However, the fact shows that the majority of the Chinese leaders do not even know what the right track is; or they have already chosen the other track for their people simply because it is cheaper and less hassle for the leaders. Where is the long term view? You may think the leaders don’t even have a view or at least it is only a short- term one.
Obviously it is not the people’s fault. As we know people can be powerful, but at the same time they could also be stupid. In most of the time, people empowered their leaders to lead them, and trust them with their life. But what will happen if the leaders don’t know how to lead or simply don’t know how to make the people’s life easier? This is what is happening in China at present… If the situation is like this, how could the world still expect China will have a bright future?

November 2006

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