At The Helm – Aye Aye Captain!

At The Helm – Aye Aye Captain!

Mar 28
At The Helm – Aye Aye Captain!

At the Helm of your Business?

It’s a term many of us are familiar with ‘Being at the Helm’ but what does it mean to you?

To me it meant being in charge and responsible for my business, driving, steering and navigating my business’ (galleon / ship / boat / aircraft carrier!) course. I was wrong.

I recently asked the question on Twitter and as always got a wonderful amount of varied responses.

 ‘being the one with ultimate responsibility to ensure the ship is not rudderless’

 ‘being the one who guides or gives direction.’

 ‘leading from the front and directing the business, whilst keeping close to the detail.’

‘The Helm is the tiller of the ship, so to be at the helm means literally to be the one steering or directing.’

Top Gun

I recently returned from a trip to California, during which we stopped in San Diego and paid a visit to the USS Midway.  A brilliant day out, I kept expecting Maverick, Goose, Iceman etc to step out of a doorway!  But that’s another misspent youth, watching  Top Gun story for you.

 The vessel is enormous it has a rich history.  It was the vessel that Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell and crew were brought aboard after their dramatic return to Earth. The USS Midway has been fully restored as a museum it is possible to take a look at everything from sleeping quarters to ‘ready rooms’ the engine rooms, the brig,  mess hall as well as ‘Vultures Row.’

The Island Superstructure

A tour of ‘The Island’ was also on offer.  It involved a fair amount of climbing up and down ladders and in and out of very narrow and high silled doorways but was worth every minute.  The docents are all very knowledgeable and mostly veterans that may have served on the USS Midway at some point or other aircraft carriers.  So have plenty of insights and information to share.
1ststop was the Flight Deck Control Room – The Air Boss and Mini Boss sit here and ultimately the Air Boss is in charge. Certain windspeeds have to be achieved across the  flight deck to enable take off and landing of jets, so instruction to steer in and out of wind are the Air Boss’ to give.  Next the navigation room where charts of soundings and all sorts of other navigation equipment fill the tiny room.

Finally ‘The Bridge’ where the captain has a great view.  However  further back and with hardly a view of any window is the Helmsman’s Post – complete with big shiny brass wheel.  The Helmsman literally takes instruction on where to head the vessel.  He relies upon the information being given to The Captain from various sections aboard.

My thoughts turned to business here and the saying ‘At The Helm’  Well it’s all very well steering the ship (your business,) but worth remembering (see picture) from this vantage point there is no way of seeing or knowing where you are going.  To avoid disaster it is necessary to listen to crew in a totally separate rooms and in some cases way below deck.  To be efficient it is necessary to listen to the Captain, who in turn is communicating with the Air Boss and the engine room and navigation crew.  That’s a lot of information!  Without it though certain disaster is inevitable.

Listening to eyes everywhere!

So who are you listening too in your business, who is giving you the necessary navigational information you require?

Feedback from our clients seems to suggest that Answer-it is a pretty useful if not obvious navigational tool.  We are able to help our clients in terms of customer feedback.  Also our reporting system means that our clients can pinpoint when they are busy, not just during the course of a day but in the course of a month.  They can see when they are busy, when the most orders are taken, when most enquiries are made, when most appointments are scheduled.  Which products are causing issues and which aren’t.

Using all this information and feedback means our clients can implement systems to deal with these things.

In the case of Answer-it we constantly look at our logs and listen to feedback from ‘The Answerettes’ so I am not sure anymore that I am ‘At The Helm’ I think of myself more as The Captain, taking information and requests and moving accordingly.  OK so I might not be The Captain of something as HUGE as an aircraft carrier but the theory, I believe, still applies.

 Until next time – Emma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor