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Turning a ship and Change Management

One of the biggest ships I commanded as a Captain was a container ship, about 300 mtrs long and 50 mtrs wide.

It was majestic !

When the ship would enter a small port, all operations would stop to allow her entry into the port, like a royal welcome ! 

While large ships are a great pride to command, they are not so easy to control & maneuver. 

You need to know the ship’s behaviour and her feel in water very well.

The larger the ship, the more complicated she is to turn. 

..First, you need enough engine power & rudder movement to initiate the turn. 

..Then you need to know how to encounter something called lateral resistance from water and wind.

..As you apply the counter and the lateral resistance reduces, the ship starts gaining momentum and turns rapidly.

..Finally, you need to counter & control the momentum, so the ship doesn’t overshoot its turn. If you don’t, it will end up landing somewhere else !

Why am I telling you all this? 

Because driving change in an organization is similar to turning a ship.

..As a leader, you need to be fully aware of the feel of the organization and the pulse on the ground.

..You need sponsorship & engagement to initiate the change, similar to the initial power and rudder movement to turn a ship.

..You need to understand the resistance from employees and what could obstruct change, similar to knowing the lateral resistance from wind and water.

..You need to generate sufficient momentum to sustain the change.

..Finally, you need to have checks & balances to measure progress & ensure long-term success, similar to providing counter measures so the ship heads in the right direction.

The larger the organization, the more challenging it is to drive change.

So you see, turning a ship and organization change management are not very different.

I used to Captain ships, now I help leaders drive change using the same principles, and it works. 

Sounds interesting ? Drop me a mail, I’ll send you my booking link, and you can tell me where you want your ship to go.

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