I was doing some googling recently about Japanese auctions to see if there is anyone out there apart from TradingPartners who has anything useful to say about them in a procurement space. Turns out there doesn’t seem to be. But in the process I stumbled across this entertaining old article from the NY Times:
Takashi Hashiyama, president of Maspro Denkoh Corporation, an electronics company based outside of Nagoya, Japan, could not decide whether Christie’s or Sotheby’s should sell the company’s art collection, which is worth more than $20 million, at next week’s auctions in New York.
He did not split the collection – which includes an important Cézanne landscape, an early Picasso street scene and a rare van Gogh view from the artist’s Paris apartment – between the two houses, as sometimes happens. Nor did he decide to abandon the auction process and sell the paintings through a private dealer.
Instead, he resorted to an ancient method of decision-making that has been time-tested on playgrounds around the world: rock breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper smothers rock.
In Japan, resorting to such games of chance is not unusual. “I sometimes use such methods when I cannot make a decision,” Mr. Hashiyama said in a telephone interview. “As both companies were equally good and I just could not choose one, I asked them to please decide between themselves and suggested to use such methods as rock, paper, scissors.”
Well as a process it’s certainly honest, open and transparent.