Are you a Maritime Training Thought Leader?August 2, 2016 12:08 pm
Maritime training is a complicated business, with so many challenges to deliver against. There are competencies, skills and knowledge to transfer – as well as legal, compliance and commercial issues to address too. To that backdrop it could be hard to impose new ideas, but thought leaders are emerging and they are changing training in their wake.
INTRODUCING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Videotel has long been at the forefront of maritime training. Since inception, we have innovated and explored new ways of delivering training for seafarers, while developing solutions for client companies and the wider maritime industry.
In doing so we have harnessed new ways of doing things, while always ensuring we deliver on existing needs. That is our view of training thought leadership, but what does it mean for you?
How can you benefit from pushing boundaries, how can your people make use of innovative training solutions, and how will this all translate into your all-important business bottom line?
What does “thought leadership” mean? Is it just a management buzzword, or does it deliver genuine benefits? Here we look at what it is to lead, thinking above and beyond compliance, and of the characteristics of those pushing ahead of the pack.
BARRIERS TO PROGRESS
So, are you a training thought leader? What does it take to lead others to learn and improve, and to make a real difference to how training and education is conducted and delivered both at sea and ashore?
In a wider business sense, such leadership is about pushing the boundaries of what is currently being done. Understanding the past, critically questioning today’s practices, while providing answers for tomorrow.
Sadly while staff may be encouraged to act positively, this is often without any real sense of direction. Without a clear desire and means to evolve, then unfortunately the status quo remains, and that can all too often stymie development.
At Videotel we recognise and encourage thought leadership in shipping, and especially in maritime training. We work with those who know the compliance landscape, but who are building on the foundations of the current requirements. Finding new ways of operating, delivering and assessing training, education, learning and development.
WHAT IS THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
So what does it mean to be a thought leader? Well, the first thing we should perhaps explore is the term itself – it can sound a little bit egotistical, especially for a traditional industry such as shipping. So perhaps we should focus on the benefits such expertise and insight can bring, rather than getting too hung up on the term.
Thought leaders are the informed opinion makers and the go-to people in their field of expertise, sector and market. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; but they know how to turn ideas into reality, and they are also willing and able to help others replicate their success.
Much of this rests on being visionary, but also in having influence too – and most important of all being willing and able to share that thinking. In a tight market it can be tempting to keep one’s own counsel – and that happens a lot in shipping.
Good ideas can be lost the wider industry as they are seen as bringing a competitive advantage, and so there can be a temptation to internalise progress. That is a natural feeling – but to be a thought leader takes the willingness to put a head above the parapet and encourage and embrace wider issues and development.
BECOMING A THOUGHT LEADER
Such ideals require people who question the way in which things are done, while outlining how things can be better. More than that, they explain why and how it can be done.
Such confidence, and vision, is what separates thought leaders. Whether we are talking of a training manager who seizes that “eureka” moment, or a company which finds a new way forward. Being marked out as an industry progressive can really deliver positive results.
Wielding influence has never been more important, but with today’s business landscape being so cluttered and noisy it can be hard to standout. However, doing so can deliver huge benefits.
Shipping professionals can gain a significant strategic and financial advantage by being thought leaders. Positioning yourself at the high-end of a specialty can be a very important differentiator and can make business happen. Indeed thought leaders are disproportionately able to generate revenues for themselves and their firms.
Some characteristics and key qualities which mark thought leaders out are:
Drive: Thought leaders have to be passionate about their work. They have a sense of purpose that goes beyond just the commercial results, they possess a real zeal about helping others to improve as well as pushing themselves.
Expertise: Thought leaders really know their subject. To identify problems and to find solutions is a skilled task, and those who can do so are a valuable resource.
Presence: Thought leaders are visible and vocal. They write, present, and share their thoughts and garner respect and recognition when doing so.
FINDING NEW WAYS
Thought leaders are driven, and are passionate about results. They are experts in their fields, and know the best way to get what they need. They also have presence and gain real industry respect. Attributes which are found in many of our clients.
For us as a maritime training company, the fact that our clients want to innovate, to pursue excellence and expect results is so important. They demand ever more, and that is a form of thought leadership.
Responding to those challenges is vital, and that in turn improves us, making our products and services better too. Over 40 years Videotel has been at the forefront of shipping’s need to embrace the best training while adapting to changing needs.
We have found our thought leadership role as a facilitator, engaging with others, and entering positive relationships. We have shared experience, and spoken out about what works – and tackled what doesn’t. That is the secret to our thought leadership, what is yours?