A new engine. An unwanted breakdown. A hundred-customers standing on the wharf ready and waiting. The main office lady is away sick so the office team is short staffed. It has just started to drizzle and the customers patiently waiting on the wharf are now starting to get wet. The mechanic is not answering his phone. You have an idea of what the problem is, but you can’t be certain. You don’t want to risk it. Erring on the side of caution, you decide to cancel the trip...
The office is now swamped with customers wanting to reschedule or refund their trip, a trip that they had been looking forward to. For some, that trip would have been the “highlight” of their holiday, but it wasn’t, it was nothing else but an inconvenience, and an inconvenience to all.
Change is a part of life. Sometimes it’s positive, and other times less so. But regardless of what form it comes in, you have a choice: face the change head on and accept, pivot and go with the flow; or, turn away from the change, be mad, share your disappointment, and let it drag you down, consequently dragging others down around you at the same time.
Somewhere in the middle of facing the change and turning away, is the middle ground. This is the path of least resistance that requires less effort. It’s easy, you just shrug your shoulders, adopt that “she’ll be right” attitude, and stand back and watch as the events unfold and take their own course. This approach can be summarised by the slang NARFAE – standing for “Negative attitude and f#$k all enthusiasm”. This approach precludes anyone from taking control and ownership of a situation, worse of all, things can snowball downhill from here.
The secret to handling change is to focus on progress. If you can make progress on a regular basis, then you feel a sense of accomplishment and that feels good. Making progress doesn’t have to be a mammoth task, simple things like completing thorough daily equipment checks, conduct regular maintenance such as oil and filter changes on time, if there is a hint that a hose in the engine room is showing signs of wear, replace it, even better – look at why that damage is occurring.
By following these mandates below, you will see highlighted is a sense of structure and reasoning as to why we do something, start tweaking the way you do things and build a better, more reliable, trustworthy and profitable business than ever before!
MANDATE 1: TAKE A MINUTE TO LOOK
Life is busy, there are a million things every single day that can easily distract you. This is why it is important to take a minute, take a step back, and just look. Look at your business through different glasses, from a new angle and perspective. Are the systems in place really working? Is there another way you can do the daily equipment checks? Would that work better? Could another Master come and hop onto your boat and know how to drive it, how elaborate are your operational documents? Are there any hazards that you can see which need to be identified to all Crew?
Taking a minute to look at your vessel’s and operation must excite you. Change is all around us and perhaps there is a better-enhanced way of doing something? At least by taking a minute to look, opens creative thoughts and once you are in this headspace, anything is possible!
MANDATE 2: MAKE THE CHANGE
Now it’s time to declare: “Okay, I am not going to just sit here and hope everything will be okay. I am going to take control of this situation.” Talk to other staff members, get their thoughts about a new possibility. Work through the item or system of change together, then make the resolution to embrace change by finding or creating a better, enhanced way.
MANDATE 3: FIND YOUR REASONS
Now that you have taken a minute to have a look, then you have made a commitment to change, now you need to find your reasons – your purpose for wanting to achieve this result.
This is one of the most important components to making progress because, without it, you will lose your motivation and drive. You will inevitably face hurdles, challenges, and obstacles along the way, but the reasons will help push you through. When the stress and pressure come, your reasons will propel you along and you won’t let the fear or negative talk take over.
Your reasons can be framed in a positive or a negative manner – “If I don’t do this, this is what it will cost me,” or “If I do this, then this is what is much safer.” What matters most is that your reasons resonate within you. They are not superficial, but rather, stem from a powerful purpose.
If you find the meaning behind making a change, allow that to help keep you on target and moving forward when things get tough.
MANDATE 4: MAKE IT PART OF EVERY DAY
Making long lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a series of small incremental steps all accumulating into something much larger. For instance, you might want to change the way your engine checks are done, say you are changing the frequency of how often the oil gets checked on your main engines from once every 3 days, to once every day.
Patterns will emerge, allowing you can make better-informed decisions. An example is that perhaps the engines are starting to require oil to be added to them daily, it might be time to contact the mechanic and get those rings and seals replaced sooner than later.
There’s a part of your brain called the RAS – reticular activating system – and it determines what you notice in the world. When you make a change, become extraordinarily clear on it, and have strong enough reasons behind your intention, you trigger the RAS. Your brain then becomes much better at looking at things and noticing potential opportunities.
MANDATE 5: RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
Ultimately, if you want to create real change in your operation, you have to raise your standards from what or how things have always been done.
It’s important to dissect limitations, asking the question “why” or “why not” along the way.
If you want to create a better business, then you have to raise the current standards. You have to let go of any complacency and focus on areas that enhance the likes of compliance, safety, and efficiencies. Make a purposeful change.
One revolutionary new software solution that you can leverage in your business is Sea Logs. Sea Logs is in a general sense - is customisable electronic logbooks, but intimately, it is much more than that. Instead of writing repetitive data in your vessel logbooks, you can automate (as much as possible) and then easily record that information into Sea Logs. What Sea Logs does though, is it then provides your information in a way that you can easily use. You can run engine reports, tally up Crew sea time, you can count the passengers, run detailed analytics, the possibilities are endless.
Sea Logs is a creative logbook solution that will provide you with 24 hour 7 day a week access to your vessel’s, and even better provide you with a birds-eye-view as to what is happening on board. Sea Logs harnesses all the information collected in your logbooks and stores it in the one common place, allowing you to be proactive and intuitive in your business, as opposed to leaving your customers out standing in the rain, while you are reacting to an unwanted breakdown that could have been easily prevented. Jump across to Sea Logs today, free 30-day trial.