Sailing and software: What I learned on the Fair Jeanne
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  iod11 baforum ibmsoftware information-insights
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Ahoy! I turned 40 this year, and as a gift to myself I spent last week as part of the crew aboard the Fair Jeanne. The Jeanne is a two-masted brigantine that's part of the Bytowne Brigantine Sailing Training program here in Ottawa. For six days, my fellow trainees and I sailed the waters of Lake Ontario between the former naval base of Kingston and postcard-pretty Picton. Surrounded by sea shanties and gloriously fresh air we set and hoisted sails, climbed the rigging, learned the ins and outs of myriad knots, took turns at the helm and built a remarkable sense of comraderie.
It was - ahem - a boatload of fun.
It was also illuminating - in the off-hours in between all that hoisting and heaving, coming about and wearing ship I had ample time to observe the rest of the crew at work. What I saw looked a lot like how a successful organization could run. Here are a few observations:
The software connection
I'm hardly the first person to observe this parallel. There's a good reason why the Navy (or Air Force, or Army) is such a good preparation for business leadership. But with Information On Demand occupying a large part of my mind lately, it's difficult not to see everything I'm doing through the lens of information and analytics, of insights and outcomes. In fact, as our world becomes increasingly interconnected, instrumented and intelligent I'd wager that there are few activities we engage in now that you couldn't observe through that lens. Which means that, if you're still reading this but haven't yet registered for the biggest conference that IBM Software has to offer, might I suggest that you head over to the registration page and add your name to the manifest? I can't promise calm waters, but I can promise you'll acquire the skills to sail smoothly over the biggest waves. Permission to come aboard is granted.