Are Your Team's Binoculars Locked Up? A Titanic Story

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It was a calm cold night with stars in the sky.  No moon.  Titanic was traveling at her full speed.  About 22.5 knots.  Titanic's lookouts in the crow's nest peered through the haze with their naked eyes to look for anything dangerous in their path. 

Imagine that.  They were squinting into the night.

Weren't the lookouts equipped with binoculars?

YES, they were.  In fact, there were binoculars IN the crow's nest storage locker. 

Well then, why weren't they using them?

The storage locker was locked and the key for that locker….

Wasn't aboard the Titanic!

The officer who had that precious key was re-assigned right before Titanic's launch.  He had the key in his pocket and forgot to turn it over.

Before you accuse anyone of 'negligence' ask yourself: 

Have you ever forgotten where your keys are?

Happens to me nearly every day.  Actually, I more often forget where my reading glasses are!

A small key in a pocket.  Just one little oversight. 

If the crow's nest sailors had been equipped with the right tools, they might have seen that iceberg with a little more time.  Maybe Titanic swerves just enough to miss the iceberg.  And we probably wouldn't be talking today about how the Titanic made it safely to New York City. 

Let's LEARN from our history!

Here's my bottom-line question for you: 

Is your team equipped with the exact right tools to do their job effectively?  Are they appropriately skilled in using those tools?  Are all the capabilities of their productivity tools completely UNLOCKED?

Unlock Your Team's Tools and Unlock Their Talent!


I LOVED talking to my clients and colleagues about effective use of their tools.  In my early consulting days, we called it Technology Assimilation.  Later we called it Adoption.  Here's how the conversation usually goes…. Imagine I'm talking with you.

Me: What tool do you use most frequently to influence clients to make decisions?  Like delivering proposals, presenting materials at Steering Committee meetings, etc.

Colleague: Powerpoint

Me: How often do you use that tool?

Colleague: Every Day

Me: Given ALL of Powerpoint's functional capabilities, what % competency do you have in ALL that functionality?

Usually there's a pause.  Their eyes look up and to the left as they analyze the question.  Then their face faintly blushes as they answer with a tinge of annoyance.

Colleague:  Maybe 15%

Me: So here's a tool that is most critical to influence ideas and SELL projects to your clients and you only know 15% of its' capabilities?

We usually then launch into a deeper conversation about their learning goals and more importantly applying this same logic to their teams. 

If our teams are using just 15% of the functional capabilities, we are bottling up their talent!

Set them FREE!

Here's three simple steps to unlock your team's talent: 

A) Provide the exact right tool to enhance the unique talent for each member of your team.

B) Give them the time and budget to learn that tool to its fullest capabilities.

C) Assign them tasks that stretch their talent into their tools and stretch their tools into their talent.

Watch them GROW and LOVE YOU for it.  And watch their productivity SOAR along with your RESULTS.

Give your team binoculars to not only AVOID icebergs, but to support your ship in steaming to your destination with world class accommodations!

After all….

Icebergs Make Better Scenery Than Destinations!


"Binoculars Locked Up" is one of ten risk assessment components of our Titanic Diagnostic.  Check out the other nine on our Titanic Diagnostic App in the Apple Store!


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