by Olimpia Ponno

“Is it possible to organise a teambuilding without any sailing experience?” The answer is “YES”!

On a sailing boat, if the hardware is represented by the technical language, the maneuvers, the safety guidlines shared with the crews through manuals and briefings, the software is provided by the people soft skills, those transversal interpersonal competences, behavioral-human-relational-social-emotional attitudes, which make the difference for the individual and professional performance.

That’s way training through the sailing boat is the perfect means to support the corporate Talent Management Strategy, a method to measure the soft skills during the phases of recruiting process, onboarding, assessment, career development, generational change, reverse mentoring.

Let’s take the 10 soft skills, selected by tha World Economic Forum (WEF) as the most requested by the companies from 2015 to 2030, and convert them into activities on board.

Complex problem-solving & decision making: on the sailing boat people train to be proactive, assuming an out-of-the-box attitude, to quickly identify different solutions from the most “logical” ones, to take full responsibiity of the decisions, stimulated by the variables out of their control like the wind and the sea.

Critical thinking & creativity: facing the velocity of information exchange on board, the mistakes and conflicts which can arise from the co-living in a small space, people train to overcome their prejudices, to deal with the others at work, to fully activate “12 senses”, to stimulate the individual and team creativity, i.e. when they must decide the boat position or the direction during a competition.

Coordinating with others & people management: once on board, it becomes critical to move and think in synch, to make sure that each one understands where to stay and what to do, modulating weight, tone, language based on diversities and roles, motivating and supporting each other for the team result, building mutual trust and asking for feedback constantly.

Emotional intelligence & cognitive flexibility: each crew member has to face the flow of different emotions during the sailing and the maneuvers, training to recognise and manage either the positive or the negative ones, overcoming barriers believed impassable. On board the person experiences the corporal-imaginative-social dimension, switching from indipendence to cooperation, sense of responsibility, seeing what happens from time to time with different eyes.

Negotiation & service orientation: Negotiation is constant on a sailing boat: negotiation with oneself and the others, in front of the changing scenarios, coming out of the comfort zone, when someone tells you to change the boat or the skipper; when you assume a different role; when the personal needs give way to the team requirements.

#job #teambuilding #people #strategy #management #competences #role #sailing boat #work
#WEF #2019 #2020 #2030 #soft skill #assessment #recruiting #emotionalintelligence #HR #Talent
#humanresources #negotiation #creativity #problemsolving #onboarding #reversementoring #careerdevelopment #employerbranding #generationalchange #diversity


by Olimpia Ponno

Our people don’t easily adapt to change – a top manager told us during a meeting last week – and above all to the maneuvering speed we need to manage within the company processes, the sales of products and services, the integration of new human resources, the upload of contents and answers on the social networks… anyway velocity represents for us the performance indicator as competitive advantage”.

Interesting point of view, we think… considering the fact that, through the training on sailboat, the velocity assumes a double significance. If on one hand, the search for the perfect VMG (Velocity Made Good, the relation between the boat speed and the progress in the direction of the wind) in a regatta can make the difference to reach the finish line before the others, on the other hand, a fast speed can apparently make us believe to go forward and cut the line before any other, instead it moves us “faster” far from the destination pushing us to make more maneuvers. In this last case, velocity changes from a point of strength into a point of weakness: the boat goes fast in the wrong direction, people efforts are minimised, all the energies are wasted and the boat capsizes! To find the right VMG it is crucial that the crew takes the internalexternal context under control, each member is in the right place and role moving in sync, the weight is well balanced in relation to the wind and the maneuvers.

Coming back to the manager’s assertion, we wonder: increasing sales quickly – without considering the time and rhythm of production – does it really bring profits? Recruiting new skilled people does it always increase the company performance? Making many weekly appointments – without finalising the follow-ups fast enough – does it increase customers retention?

The velocity can contribute to generate efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness only when there is listening, observation, strategy, communication, clarity of language, rhythm combined with movement, sharing, role awareness, sense of responsibility, respect of rules and values, time management, uncertainty and stress management, constant feedback, that’s to say a set of KPI (Key Performance Indicators), which can measure the individual and team results on a sailboat as well as in company processes, to take the lead, to capture market share and to achieve the goal.

values #stratey #time #rhythm #velocity #speed #listening #feedback #role #key performance indicator #management #responsibility #sailboat #rules #communication
#company #KPI #VMG #quality #productivity #market share #profits #sales #performance #customers #recruiting #regatta #weight #sailboat



by Olimpia Ponno

In our daily experience spent in different corporate and professional workplaces, we often meet managers and professionals usually unaware of the many shades which differentiate a manager from a leader, undervaluing the importance to  understand, recognise, manage differences and styles of conduction in favour of the people-resources they collaborate with.

It’s just on the sailboat, during the role rotation, that management and/or leadership attitudes come out, especially when the crew members take the helm!  Let’s try to compare the two modes and  “extremize them”!

During the debriefings following the sailing activities, people go deeper into the shades between the two modes. As Martin Luther King points out  “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.  

Very good managers are even leaders and viceversa, there are managers who don’t want and can’t be leaders for attitude, mentality, mindset, behaviour, skills, personality, emotional status. In both cases, it’s not the destiny to determine the mode, but the experience, the will, the training!

#leadership #management #emotinalfitness #people #sailing #communication #team #work #coaching #mentoring #businessvalues #success #vision #time #development #passion #cooperation #passion



by Olimpia Ponno

Who knows why since our childhood we have been perceiving mistakes as a real defeat at school, university, doing sport, when we play, at work, with the high risk to deeply impact on our self-esteem and the way we face the situations. But yet most of the greatest successes in life come from temporary failures, as athletes, writers, artists, journalists, stars, entrepreneurs, students, common people witness, including managers and employees who get on sailboat suffering from and consequently from <stress, demotivation, performance anxiety, competition, strong individualism>.

In the distractive and complex world of doing and doing at all costs, chasing time and perfection in the name of productivity, revenue, shareholders and job keeping, through training programs on sailinboat the mistake culture becomes a method through which we train people individually and in team to feel, admit, accept, analyse, manage, communicate, overcome, ride the mistake as an opportunity, no more as an emotional devaluation, but as an enabling emotion which empowers individual and team personality, identity.

  • On a sailboat, during a competition, a match race, a regatta, a mistake appears evident, tangible, clear, no escape!
  • On a sailboat, especially during a competition, the crew must be very fast, to find the recovery time and cohesion, the right rhythm to go on sailing, without stopping to blame and criticize each other, focusing on the strengths, the objective, to prevent stalling.
  • On a sailboat a mistake, a distraction usually comes from a communication and listening gap, either when each one is concentrated only on his/her individual task or when each one wastes time to control what the other member does, losing sight of the role, the responsibility for the common objective.
  • Through debriefings any mistake made on a sailboat is recognized, shared, analyzed, decoded as an opportunity, learning how to get rid of guilt and fear of failure, but above all breaking down individual silos.
  • A mistake, usually hidden, feared, undervalued, punished, justified, tolerated at work, becomes on a sailboat a tool of growth and change, that impacts on the company culture, the employees emotional and cognitive abilities, health and safety of the workplace.

#mistakeculture #responsibility #trust #leadership #enablingemotions #passion #energy #sinergy #collaboration #commonlanguage #cohesion #activelistening
#teamspirit #cooperation #rhythm #debriefing #method #training #companyculture #health #safety #workplace



by Olimpia Ponno

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.

ROI #Performance #Business #Food #Foodlovers #ChangeManagement #Rules #Engagement #Mindset #Skills #Strategy #Creativity #Mewe #Diversity #Work #Hospitality
#Sailing #Sailboat #MeetingIndustry #Restaurant #Hotel #Marketing #Communication #Training #Time #Benefit #ReturnOnInvestment



by Olimpia Ponno

During the 10° edition of Forum HR – held on 15th November in Milan at IULM University in order to understand how we can change the way we work in the present and future – we organised an Open Talk on the combination of “Human + Heart”.

With the Digital Transformation, in order to train people to face the constant rapid daily change, we chose to talk about the economy and value of heart, because it is the first of the three brains to form during development of the body; it is the centre of the so called intuitions, which are often at the basis of our rational thinking. Further, the heart generates a powerful and measurable electromagnetic field affecting all those around us, up to an extension of more than 4 meters, with our energetic information, positive or negative, coherent or incoherent; this explains the success or unsuccess of many economic, relational, organisational, managerial results inside and outside the workplace.

The velocity of change is the real big challenge of our Millennium which people – entrepreneurs, professionals, managers, employees – have to manage. Aware of that two special testimonials Tatiana Coviello, HR Director and Board Member of the Bank Volksbank – Banca Popolare dell’Alto Adige, and Simonetta Repetto, Head of CIS Learning Programs Italy DHL Group (Gruppo Deutsche Post World Net), who – through the training program on sailboat “Orientation to the team and leadership 4.0” experienced in different formats, ways and time – engaged their mutual teams to rethink the work and take important decisions with the power and strenght of heart, in order to train critical soft skills, such as creativecriticalcomplex thinking, capacity of listening, trust in the others, sense of responsibility, patience to wait for the right moment, collaborative spirit and mutual help, flexibility, ability to operate in different cultural human contexts.

“In order to face and know the artificial intelligence rappresented by the humanoid Pepper – explains Tatiana Coviello – we decided to offer our managers a training pathway of two days on five monotype J80 sailboats at the Garda Lake to sail the uncertainty embodied by the continuous change of weather, waves and wind at 25 knots, to feel and manage their emotions, including the fear of the water and technology. The activity on sailboat motivates and helps people to overcome them and to build a feedback culture through the question <did you understand?>”. “To fasten the dynamics of change from group to team through the combination of head, heart, belly – tell us Simonetta Repetto – we chose to share with the marketing division the one day and a half intense training experience in Liguria at Portovenere, on board of a OCEANIS 46 sailboat, during which people lived the relevance of the immediacy of the feedback in a precise moment of the work process, respecting the velocity, without bypassing phases and roles, in order to better impact on the results”.

During the debriefing in a meeting room as well as on a sailboat we clearly perceive how people need to feel free to recognise and not hide the error, to express their emotions, their emotional status, to find and share their own identity, values, interests, personal and professional passions to bring concrete strategic and business results, validating what the Italian luxury creative director Brunello Cucinelli points out, when he says that the real profitability is done by the union of numbers and animy (for us the heart)!

#ChangeManagement #Engagement #HRTransformation #Heart #DigitalTransformation#ArtificialIntelligence #Mindset #Skills Development #Leadership #Performance #Health#Strategy #Creativity #Benessere #WorkLifeBalance
#Cuore #Mewe #HumanIntelligence 
#CreativeThinking #EmotionalIntelligence #SocialIntelligence #ContextualIntelligence 
#ExperiientialIntelligence #RelationalIntelligence


by Olimpia Ponno

Set the scene: a sailing team building, a crew of managers, most of them has never sailed before. They ask “What is the right role for us?”The answer is easy “There is a right role for any of you as long as it fits nicely with who you are as persons with your soft and hard skills, personal and professional personality, identity, needs, mental and physical characteristics”.

In our experience, 95% of our partecipants has never sailed before and feels often embarassed to get on board, thinking to act as a ballast! But they don’t know how important the role of the ballast is to accelerate the results, as it helps to make the sailboat stable and to maximize the performance.

In a company as well as on board a main priority to shape the course is to stimulate people to identify the role they really want to play and to be ready to assume the responsibility of the position, measuring their own capacities, pushing their limits, contributing to influence the team-crew performance in a proactive way.

During the sailing we notice that people are often more concentrated on their single task, on their individual performance, exactly what happens at work. No matter if they are experienced or not, from the helmsman to the tactician, tailer, ballast the real challenge for the them is to keep communications open at all times, to take the whole context under control, to be focused on the job at hand, to give and receive feedbacks and not to take hasty initiatives, even if they are always supported by a professional skipper, who takes care of them.

What are the consequences when the helmsman-manager calls the manoeuvre and the other managers are not in the right position or are distracted? They lose time, speed, they fail! The more the participants get into the rhythm of the manoeuvres the better they take the responsibility and interact more effectively.

When people are not in the right place in most of workplaces, they play the role the company expects from them, developing a mood that can be very costly in terms of time, energy, resources, money. It is true, environment and circumstances affect people behaviors, but what makes the difference for them is the courage to ask themselves if their tasks matches with the job and role they live, because each of them, aware or not, determines the way to achieve a common goal, to reach the destination.

The sailboat helps people to rethink the positions and roles which evolve at work over time. On board as well as at work each member of the crew-team should be able to answer the following questions: “What can I bring to the team and the company and what can the team and the company bring to me?”. Let’s train to stop and think of the role periodically to make it a good fit for who we are!

#Training #KnowledgeSharing #BusinessMatching #JobRotation #Leadership #Management #Skipper #Italy #Sailing #Incentive #Coaching
#Team #Challenge #Responsibility #RiskManagement #ReverseMentoring #Roles #Jobs #People #Performance #Welfare #Human+Heart #MeWe


bi Olimpia Ponno

Responsabile Formazione Cristiana Monina Nautical Events

We are at an inter-company fleet regatta, six boats of the same type entrusted to six skippers. We decide to rotate the boat to change to all six crews, in order to let them experiment with different styles of conducting.

At the end of the day, during the debriefing with all the crews, a participant raises a doubt about the ability of the first skipper of the morning to know how to communicate clearly, because he used a language that he said was too technical and therefore, according to his point of view, not understandable, convinced that he was penalized and could not perform properly, negatively impacting the outcome of the race.

Great cue for thought I would say. This observation gives us the opportunity to shed light on the role and skills of the skipper, and especially on the expectations that the participants have towards the boat captain and their own responsibilities.

Each skipper has his own style and brings with him his experience, his character, his personality, his background, like all of us. If the skipper is responsible for the well-being and safety of his crew, it is equally true that the crew helps to make the skipper good and make the difference on the boat.

Let’s try for a moment to move this situation and the game of the parties in the company, in our daily work system. We have a boss and we have a group-team of collaborators. If the leader – who is a human being with his merits and his defects and not a superhero – for any reason should not communicate clearly and shared with his collaborators, what prevents them from asking the boss for explanations?

To give him suggestions to tune in on the same “frequency” and to successfully complete a project, a business process, a meeting, a call for tenders? Change perspective: if the skipper from the language too technical, poorly understandable, decipherable, had the ability to promptly change his language based on the needs and perception of the applicant, the team could change gear, because the language can be modulated in function of people and circumstances and, consequently, results can change too!

In the boat as in the company the responsibility for communication and language is for everyone, both the skipper-leader-guide and the crew-crew. The key is the , in a regatta as in life the team game wins and each is a mirror and support to the other to achieve the common goal. We’re all in this together!

#Training #KnowledgeSharing #BusinessMatching #JobRotation #Leadership #Management #Skipper #Italy #Sailing #Incentive #Coaching
#Team #Challenge #Responsibility #RiskManagement #ReverseMentoring #Welfare #Human+Heart #MeWe#FSC2018#FHR2018


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