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Are you ready when the wind blows up a storm?

Completely unprepared addition

Together with the beautiful weather, it attracts a lot of boats. I see a boat coming in to moor at the dock. It strikes me that they haven’t prepared an anchor, but start messing with it when they are almost at the bridge.

What I see is unfortunately not uncommon.

Ropes have been forgotten to be attached to the buttons (the attachments in the boats) so you are left with a mess of rope in your arms. The mess on the line comes from the fact that when the line was picked up in the last port, it was not wrapped neatly and tidily. Instead, they just threw it in the line box so that it kinks. It’s boat talk because it gets tangled up.

In addition, there are of course no fenders.

It is only thanks to others in the harbour that you manage to moor without damaging the boat against the jetty or damaging other boats.

Well practiced, prepared and with structure

Then another boat comes in towards the facility and the dock. They have already hung out the fenders on the bay. They take out their well wound lines and attach the pre-made loop to the button.

Then you untie the anchor and are ready to drop it into the sea on the captain’s orders. Everything goes like a dance. Everyone knows their place on the boat and the task is well rehearsed. It appears that this has been done before.

It is a sight that warms. The fact that people in the port also help them is more out of kindness than necessity.

Do you sail yourself? Do you recognize yourself?

Activities similar to the chaotic boat

In professional life, it’s a bit the same. Some activities lack structure, good management and well-developed processes. They are often saved from embarrassing situations or angry customers only thanks to employees who always go the extra mile.

Or if it’s the public sector; also by politicians (reluctantly) pushing extra money.

For example, I see health departments that do not work because of good management and well-developed processes, but because they have mainly nurses who are always covering up and doing that little bit extra.

Or home care that works in the same way thanks to dedicated staff, who go the extra mile to give clients – users – what they need assistance with.

It only lasts so long

This is repeated in branch after branch. But keeping a business afloat in this way only works so far. One day it won’t last. We don’t know when that moment will come. However, we can be sure that it will come.

But it’s as if we’re ducking this and hoping we don’t get hit. Or that I personally will not be affected, because I have then left the boat (oops, another boat analogy) and moved on to somewhere else.

Unfortunately, I see examples of the latter being quite common in management. You drive in one place and then jump on when the wind starts to blow up a storm. This is far from being the case for everyone, but I see them far too often to say that they are one-offs.

It’s like playing “the whole sea is storming” and living on the hope that I, as the manager, am not responsible for the particular activity that suffers from the empty chair when the music stops playing.

Do you recognise the phenomenon?

What happens in bad weather?

So what does the captain of a boat with no structure on board and a well-trained crew do when there is a strong crosswind and no one on the dock or quayside to help?

This is when the price is paid for failing to create the conditions needed to sail in both fair and calm weather, as well as in wind and rain.

And remember, it’s not just the captain who suffers. The whole herd suffers when things don’t go well. The atmosphere on board is very tense and what could have been a pleasant boat trip becomes something completely different.

Prepare now, before the storm comes

My call for the week is that you make sure right now that you have a plan for lifting your capacity in your business. This is so that it can function in difficult conditions.

It may be to increase your project maturity and your process maturity, or it may be to take on a particularly important process and develop it. That is, you and you are prepared for the time when the situation is not as favourable as it is today.

Would you like help creating a good foundation for your improvement work? Then contact me and I can help you, starting with a 30-minute phone call. It’s on me. You can reach me via the contact form or 070-528 52 61.

I have a well-developed method for creating improvement plans that I can tell you more about when we talk.

Remember, a goal without a plan is only a vague wish.

Looking forward to hearing from you.