THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ON A SAILBOAT AND AT WORK
CASE HISTORY: HOW TO CHANGE THE WAY TO DO AND MANAGE BUSINESS
by Olimpia Ponno Training Manager at Cristiana Monina Nautical Events

In the sport of sailing the rules of engagement define when, where, how, whom to play with, the general conditions of the competition to achieve a goal, to prevent mistakes, penalties, desqualification, through specific actions and a behavioral model participants-players must apply to.

During the training activities on board of a sailboat, we use the rules of engagement as a tool to set strategies, actions, behaviors people can put into practice at work, in order to rethink and determine the daily activities functional to achieve organisational, economic, financial results, as experienced by a crew of 9 members coming from the hospitality-meeting-food industry.

After one day of intensive experiential sailing activity off the Tuscan Coast on board of a Beneteau 50, I ask the crew members to list all the rules they remembered to follow on board:

1. be smart with their entrepreneur-boss for the first time;
2. check the boat before sailing;
3. keep the boat tidy and clean;
4. define the team roles before sailing;
5. plan the task rotation;
6. become confident with the new environment on the boat;
7. get used to cohabiting in a close space;
8. stock and display the pantry;
9. be familiar and understand the new technical sailing language;
10. check the weather forecast;
11. lock the cabins and the portholes when sailing;
12. be present for the briefing and debriefing;
13. check the information and the hand-over processing among the crew members;
14. ask for and manage the feedback from the crew;
15. respect the diversity of each member;
16. manage time and rythm of the maneuvers;
17. learn from own mistakes and those of the others;
18. train self-control in situations outside the comfort zone.

The crew members, aware of the need to define, respect, follow the rules to finalise the maneuvers, the process, the travel itinerary – through a training path at work – set the goal to translate what they experienced on board in specific, realistic, attainable, measurable, timely response, practical actions to enhance their daily performance to better run the hotel especially the restaurant they work for: manage the open kitchen restaurant in a tidier way and avoid losing temper to limit the risk to be overheard and seen by the clients; experience a role rotation from the kitchen to the restaurant hall to better understand each other challenges and job; keep track of the itmes, the inventory process to have always the right ingredients with a specific focus on the fresh products (fruits and vegetables); keep control of the sold and unsold to better understand the clients’ needs, avoiding and reducing waste; purchase a professional precision kitchen scale for a better portion control; pay the walk in and business clients, the turists, the same attention reserved for the VIP and loyal customers.

Within six months from the sailing activity, the team could measure the Return On Investment time-quality-cost-benefit such as the % reduction of miscommunication between the restaurant hall and the kitchen restaurant, a higher guest rate proved by the amount of tips and the positive online reviews, the % reduction of management costs, the % increase of revenue growth, a greater creativity in the dishes and in the menu engineering, a greater team cohesion and trust.

18. train self-control in situations outside the comfort zone.

The crew members, aware of the need to define, respect, follow the rules to finalise the maneuvers, the process, the travel itinerary – through a training path at work – set the goal to translate what they experienced on board in specific, realistic, attainable, measurable, timely response, practical actions to enhance their daily performance to better run the hotel especially the restaurant they work for: manage the open kitchen restaurant in a tidier way and avoid losing temper to limit the risk to be overheard and seen by the clients; experience a role rotation from the kitchen to the restaurant hall to better understand each other challenges and job; keep track of the itmes, the inventory process to have always the right ingredients with a specific focus on the fresh products (fruits and vegetables); keep control of the sold and unsold to better understand the clients’ needs, avoiding and reducing waste; purchase a professional precision kitchen scale for a better portion control; pay the walk in and business clients, the turists, the same attention reserved for the VIP and loyal customers.

Within six months from the sailing activity, the team could measure the Return On Investment time-quality-cost-benefit such as the % reduction of miscommunication between the restaurant hall and the kitchen restaurant, a higher guest rate proved by the amount of tips and the positive online reviews, the % reduction of management costs, the % increase of revenue growth, a greater creativity in the dishes and in the menu engineering, a greater team cohesion and trust.

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