The wind doesn't have to drive your direction

Adjusting your sails to the winds of change2 min read

It’s no secret, humans have no influence of the powers of nature.  How many times have we watched as extremes of wind and water devastate a region.  However, when severe weather is not taking its toll, it’s very possible for us to utilise these natural forces to assist in our lives.  Both water and wind have been used to grind wheat, drive machinery and generate electricity.  For over 6000 years humans have used the wind to drive their boats and, even with the advent of powered vessels, sailing remains a popular way of travelling on the water.

The thing about wind

The thing about wind is that there is no guarantee that it will blow in the direction you want it.  A skilled sailor can “read” the wind and can use it to get to their destination, regardless of the direction it is blowing.  By adjusting things like the size, angle, tension and tilt of the sail a skipper can turn, tack and travel with, and even against, the winds direction.

It is, of course, the inexperienced sailor who makes good whilst the wind is in their favour but as soon as there is a change in what is driving the boat, ends up stuck, floundering or, even, sunk.

In an organisation, it is a skilled leader who can read the changes in the wind.  They see the emerging conditions and adjusts their tactics accordingly.  They watch the social, political, economic and environmental ‘clouds’ on the horizon, they keep an eye on the ‘waves’ of competition in the marketplace and the ever changing ‘pressure’ of the digital age.  Most importantly, they use the ‘stars’ of regulations and standards to navigate accurately and legally through to their goals.

Unlike the heavenly stars that have been used by sailors through the ages to navigate, regulations and standards do change.  However, they remain critical to the organisation – it just means you need to check regularly for new ones and for those that have been amended and then adjust your strategies accordingly.

A new star

There is a new ‘star’ emerging, due to be seen clearly in the firmament in May 2018, and it is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Organisational skippers need to adjust their course right now to ensure that they reach their destination without going aground.

Added to the winds of change in other social-economic arenas, this is a tough time to be in charge, but with a good crew and a good captain, it should be clean sailing.


Gydeline is an online tool that will help you assess, achieve, monitor and maintain your progress on the high seas with a growing range of standards and regulations.  It will provide you with the course corrections on which you need to focus.  Get your route planning underway today.

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