The Royal Order of the Duck

I like ducks. Specifically, I like Mallard ducks. I have no particular problem with other types of ducks and have been known to dine on a few domesticated members of the duck family, but Mallards are my favorite because they are wild and live a relatively unstructured life. They have some characteristics that make them […]

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Torpedo in the water!

“Conn sonar, Torpedo in the water bearing Mark 140 degrees” Conn Aye, Chief of the Watch, sound battle stations, Diving Officer Commence Emergency Evasion Maneuvers” “Conn sonar, the weapon has acquisition, estimated time to impact is twenty seconds” “Diving Officer, emergency deep” Anyone who has ever watched “Hunt for Red October” (and I know most […]

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We seem to be stuck.

No matter what endeavor you are undertaking, these are words you really don’t want to hear. Anyone who follows submarine history at all can tell you about one of the most famous groundings in modern history. A Soviet era submarine (Classified Whiskey Class by NATO) found herself on the rocks near the largest Swedish Navy […]

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Turn On Your GPS

A few weeks ago, we went up to the Finger Lakes region of New York. Neither of us had ever been there before so we did what we have always done. One of us will go on either Yahoo or MapQuest and see what the best route is. I should point out immediately that we […]

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What is the most important part?

Systems thinking is an important part of Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline. In an organization, it mostly means having the ability to see the whole while balancing the importance of the parts. For me, this has always been a touchstone of lean thinking. Every part has its own role and in any system, their interactions make […]

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Division is the title for people on a submarine who are assigned to operate together. If you think about it, that seems like a rather strange name for a “team” until you recognize that the divisions are all part of a larger team. A group of people who are assigned to function together will only […]

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Prepare to Dive, Prepare to Dive

“Chief of the Watch, verify boat is ready to submerge” “Aye aye sir … Straight Board” “Very well Chief, Diving officer, Submerge the ship” “Aye Aye sir, Chief of the Watch, sound two blasts of the diving alarm and open all main vents” “On the 1MC… Dive Dive” The boat slides beneath the waves and […]

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