Adaptability is “the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.” In the ever-changing landscape of a typically traditional sector, with technology transforming the future, let alone the uncertainty COVID-19 brought into our lives unexpectedly, adaptability seems a rather important trait for the industry to have.
amely, disruptions by either external or internal shocks put pressure on the reliability of global supply chains and challenge efforts to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness, as well as the flow of goods.
All stakeholders then need to be able to adapt to each of these shocks. This might reflect the variance of risks imposed in each industry, as well as the varying abilities of actors to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from major threats affecting and disrupting maritime networks.
For that matter, a resilient, flexible, and adaptable approach is important when an industry is going through advancements which can in turn bring massive change. In such instances, there is little, if any, time to keep thinking about what was or what used to be; rather, there needs to be an acceptance of what is and what can be at the present moment!
Now more than ever, with recent technological developments that come to impact from the way seafarers are recruited to the way security and maintenance is managed on vessels, companies need to take action and manage all these changes:
- Progress brings companies in the need to hire new, more technically adept seafarers in order to thrive and excel in this changing landscape.
- Shipowners and ship managers should be thinking about training and re-training existing personnel both onboard and ashore to enable them to remain relevant in the workplace, attract digital talent, and start changing the future of success.
- Outdated perspectives need to change and a greater reliance on software systems should be actively encouraged by the leaders of organizations in order to stay up to date with all recent developments.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic is a recent case of such emergencies. It has been noted that a number of challenges have already been addressed while others are still present and will likely persist, with the impact of the disruptions caused to be measured.
- The effectiveness of each partner in the supply chain, and their willingness to collaborate, cooperate, and integrate their services, creates an environment that supports the evolving business needs of today’s supply chain, at the heart of adaptability.
- Neither the impacts nor the adaptive capacities of shipping, ports, and supply chains have been homogeneous during this time. In fact, value and future success will depend greatly on the ability to identify and capture opportunities in the marketplace that put the company’s strengths to work.
Driven by necessity and desire for efficiency, now competitors need to become collaborators. Progressing into the future, the supply chain must work together to harness collective strengths and elevate those parts of the chain that need enhancing, in order to create the fluidity and resiliency that the industry needs. It was not so long ago that we were sending faxes and filing documents in ring binders either. \The path to building a culture of adaptability is not easy. The key is to adopt a responsive and resilient approach. Many organizations have not and will not commit to the discipline, support, creativity, insight, openness, and commitment to values required to build change-adaptive cultures, but as we have witnessed before, only those who choose to follow the path consistently will benefit with strong results.
In the words of H. Jackson Brown Jr.
When you cannot change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails.
Or as famously has been said, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade; when life gives you obstacles, find ways to overcome them.”