by Vivek Sood

July 18, 2017

It appears a bit extreme now – but it was very common at time when I was a navigating cadet.

As a 17 year old cadet learning to navigate a large 28,600 metric tonnes vessel, one of first things I was asked to do was to make sure that I learnt the entire ‘International Rules of Road’ by heart. Almost all the cadets had to do this. The intention seemed to be that you must have no doubt in times of panic. At a time of impending collision there would be no room to think or maneuver – and the reaction must be automatic.

The Chief Mate (mentor for the cadets) would ask us any rule at any time, and expect the cadets to be able to recite these line, chapter and verse.

Here is short video of the perils of sea – mainly to put thing in the right context.

Most good yachtsmen and navigators would have these rules stuck in their memories no matter how much time has passed since they did their MoT (navigators’ license).

For me, after more than 30 years they are still alive, and many of them serve as good guidelines for practical decision making in strategy.

 

Here is an example: RULE 7 (COLREGS 72)

NAVIGATION RULE STRATEGY GUIDANCE
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist. Every company should use all available means appropriate to the prevailing market conditions and competitive landscape to determine if significant risk to profitability exists. If there is any doubt such risk should be deemed to exist.
(b) Proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational, including long-range scanning to obtain early warning of risk of collision and radar plotting or equivalent systematic observation of detected objects. Judicious use should be made of diagnostic tools and methodologies that are available and appropriate, including long-range forecasting to obtain early warning of risks of significant profit drops, and benchmarking or equivalent systematic observation of risks identified.
(c) Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information, especially scanty radar information. Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information, especially poor diagnostic information.
(d) In determining if risk of collision exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account: (i) such risk shall be deemed to exist if the compass bearing of an approaching vessel does not appreciably change; (ii) such risk may sometimes exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or a tow or when approaching a vessel at close range In determining if risk of significant profit drop exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account: (i) such risk shall be deemed to exist if the performance of an appropriate benchmark does not appreciably change; (ii) such risk may sometimes exist even when an appreciable performance change is evident, particularly when approaching a turbulent market condition, or when benchmark itself has become irrelevant.
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Vivek Sood

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  • I have rarely been so motivated by this article. This is one of the few times in my life that I have been so inspired, so motivated on a professional or practical experience shared here. I am even sad that it is finished, I would have liked to enjoy another week!

    Strategy gives a really good overview of the various aspects. And because it’s all done in a proper way it’s something you really remember. It gave us a really good foundation, and because it was fun we really engaged with it.

    • Mr. Gleb, How often do you catch yourself making excuses? Instead of doing something, you come up with ways to explain your inaction?

    • Imperfections are part of life. I think it’s sad that some people feel that because being perfectly consistent with your values is impossible, that there is no point trying to debug the inconsistencies.

      Am i right Mr. Gleb?

  • Helpful blogs! I’m a market planner for the product selling. This blog catches my eyes when I search for a new way to plan market. It helps me to rip out my queries and give the new way to think. Thanks

    • Hey Carter, how this blog helped you? I mean in which manner planning a market this blog can help you I just want to know that because I am also a market planner.

  • Good article Vivek. Such a motivational and inspiring piece of writing it is. I rarely know about the life of navigators and never took interest in this topic. But after reading this article, my interest has developed to read more about this field. I am more curious about knowing the importance of strategy in the life of a navigator and it is an easy game for them.

  • Strategic planning is important and easy for navigators because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals. I think the navigators make the strategy easy themselves as they have to face challenging situations frequently. They already have crafted out and memorized the strategies to deal with unprecedented situations. Strategic planning is a tool that is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward.

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