08 August 2009

Story of Japanese Fresh Fish

Are B-school faculties running short of examples ? Not sure .. some examples keep on repeating in every other subject. For ex: Customization = Dell, JIT = Toyota, Globalization=McDonald, Innovation=Apple or new addition is Tata Nano and so on. The same is applicable to students too, we also keep on repeating same examples.

Yesterday the saga turned to be too much .. in afternoon our prof of IT-Strategy concluded the session with a small story. It was about how Japanese used the concept of 'Continuous improvement' to keep their favorite delicacy i.e. fish 'fresh'. Then we had an evening session on IT-in-Banking by some external faculty from XYZ bank. Guess what ? He started the session with same story of 'Japanese Fresh Fish'. What a coincidence? I had to literally control my laughter while listening to the story second time in a span of 1 hour :)

Here is the story. Copied it from a link. [ Slightly buzzy+lazy to write on my own ]
The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh.
The Japanese did not like the taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats.

They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish.

The frozen fish brought a lower price. So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.

So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend?

How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh:

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged.

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired & dull, so we need a Shark in our life to keep us awake and moving? Basically in our lives Sharks are new challenges to keep us active and taste better...

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