If you have ever worked aboard a merchant ship you know about the responsibilities of the lookout.
A lookout is a person most often stationed on the ship’s bridge who maintains a constant watch of the water to report any kind of hazard that can be an obstacle in the navigation and cause harm to the ship. According to COLREG, a lookout is required to give his uninterrupted attention at all times to the ship’s navigation in order to inform the officer on watch (OOW) about other ships, shipwrecks, debris, floating objects etc.
The main duties of a lookout are:
- To give utmost attention through sight, hearing, and any other means in order to assess any change in the operating environment
- Detecting and reporting on ships, shipwrecks, debris, shipwrecked person, and other navigational hazards
- Reporting on possibilities of collision, stranding, and other dangers to navigation
- The lookout should stay at their position at all times until they are relieved from their duties. On relieving, they should provide all the information to their replacement about things that have been reported.
*Abridged from Marine Insight
Now when you are running your business wouldn’t it be great to have one or more people who are acting as your lookout?
You would still be in your role. You are in charge of the business with the full weight of the company operating and thriving. Everyone who is in that position knows it is almost impossible to keep your eye on every aspect of the business all of the time. The larger the organization is the more difficult and challenging this becomes.
The lookouts exist in your business right now.
This is not a certainty, however, it is quite likely. What is necessary is for a clear communication from you describing specifically what areas you would want the focus on and how often you want to be provided with information and by what method.
A direct line of communication would be the optimal. Definitely cutting through reporting structures and any red tape would be extremely helpful. This insures you are hearing the information directly and rapidly.
This doesn’t add headcount as you want the people involved to be working in a role at the company already. They now have a responsibility to keep their eyes tuned into certain aspects of the business as well.
It’s your decision how many lookouts you have and what they are keeping an eye on. This is not spying! It’s a smart way of staying on top of the business and growing people to another level at the same time.
Mitch Tublin is the CEO and Founder of Wenkroy International LLC a boutique consulting company with a main focus on adding value to people. Through Speaking, Training and Coaching we change lives. Our passion is to take people to the next level in their life and in their career or business.