Imagine a place where you could go skiing, sailing and golfing... all in the same day.
Imagine a place of friendly people, stellar mountains, blue oceans, and lush green forests... where it rained 300 days a year, but when the sun shone, everything could seem right in the world.
Of course I'm talking about Vancouver British Columbia.
There were things you could see in Vancouver you would never see in other parts of the country (including 6 inch long crawling slugs but I digress... You can tell I don't work for BC tourism).
Vancouver is a port city, and as such the never ending business of a port provides a delightful cacophony of activity.
If you've been to Vancouver, you will be familiar with Lions Gate bridge - which looks a lot like San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge. It is a Canadian historic site, but is also a major traffic artery between the cities of Vancouver and North Vancouver.
On occasion, the US Navy would bring one of their aircraft carriers into the port. This was a big deal for the locals since we didn't often get a chance to see a craft that big (the Canadian Navy IS jealous) and secondly, the highest part of the ship's antennas were just a few metres lower than the maximum clearance afforded by the Lions Gate bridge. It had to happen at the lowest tide, with favourable conditions (you notice my spelling is very Canadian today), with the bridge cleared of traffic and was much like threading a needle with an incredibly large object.
The magic was in a collection of ugly little boats - the tugs. In a carefully orchestrated dance, this small fleet of vessels went out into English Bay to meet the aircraft carrier. Each would take up a predetermined position against the hull of the ship, and start pushing.
For all intents and purposes, it didn't look like much was happening.
But there was.
|Image: MS Office Imagebank|
Each tug was pushing in its own spot, but collectively they were moving the large ship in the desired direction.
Somehow the large carrier went under the bridge in exactly the right location.
Or well executed technology.
Most of the change we implement as leaders is not drastic, sudden, or exciting.
But consistent, intentional and with an outcome in mind.
So, think like a tugboat when it comes to leading change initiatives.
Don't give up.
Get your team working to their strengths - driving to achieve each of their individual objectives - which together contribute to the overall objective.
It is a practice of discipline - a constant, continuous effort in the same direction.
Everyone knows their role.
This is the kind of change initiatives that stick. That have lasting results.
So two items to remember from today's post:
- If you haven't been to Vancouver yet, be sure to put it on your bucket list, and
- Think like a tugboat.