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  • John McLean Dix

Rocket Sailing


The Sailboat Story

I’ve spent the last several years traveling around the world talking with business leaders about how they manage their business. We’ve talked about the complexity of business in the fast paced global marketplace we all operate in today. There is a loud voice asking all of us to simplify business models and to compartmentalize our profit and loss statements to make better sense of them, to allow for a common language within the huge and very diverse but unique companies resulting in a simple and effective way to find opportunities for improvements.

As I think about this simple model of revenue and costs, I realize that this is not rocket science … its sailing science. Take the apparent complexity of sailing a boat, break it down into the simple components of harnessing the wind and navigating a direction and there are your solutions. Take the resources of the sailboat such as sails, rudder, centerboard and crew, manage them, focus them, and maximize potential and you’re not just sailing, you’re rocket sailing.

Part of rocket sailing is really understanding the role each component plays it allowing the sailboat to be successful, to be super-efficient and to max out in terms of potential, the same is true of business.

Take the centerboard for example, without the centerboard, or a keel on a larger vessel, the boat will not stay on course. Without a centerboard, a small sailboat will just slide across the water, the rudder and sails having little of the intended impact.

In business, think of the centerboard as the company mission statement, vision, values, service level agreement or a group understanding of what the company stands for …without this, in times of turmoil and rough waters, the group knows not where to turn to navigate to more stable or profitable ground.

The Sailboat Story is a workshop I conduct that brings this analogy to life, to your business and allows for a greater understanding of opportunities for efficiency, maximizing sales and revenue and it’s just plain eye opening.


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