Fresh Perspective

Posted By: CAPT Bill Diehl, USCG (Ret.), P.E. Port Bureau News, Captain's Corner,
By CAPT Bill Diehl, GHPB President

I enjoy opening my new planner every January. Yes, I prefer writing over typing and turning pages over clicking. I start my day at 5:30 with a cup of coffee in my favorite chair with my planner. As I organize myself and jot things down, I find it both relaxes me and energizes me to face the day. However, last week I found myself asking, what just happened? As a result of the COVID outbreaks, we pivoted our January Commerce Club luncheon from in-person to virtual. That feels too much like being stuck in 2021.

On the end table next to my favorite chair is my sanctuary for afterwork hours. It contains books on my faith, great leaders, investing, golf, and a puzzle book. This morning I found myself wanting to pick up the puzzle book and disappear into a brain game puzzle. With any kind of puzzle, invariably I will reach a point where I cannot find the last answer. Although I don’t want to pause, the final answer usually reveals itself after I have stepped away from the session. I never fail to be surprised at the fresh perspective that a short reprieve brings to me.

Driving in, I thought more about how a fresh perspective is one of the most valuable benefits that membership with the Port Bureau brings to you and your company. It offers you unique opportunities to step away from a business puzzle, interact with others, obtain new information, and return to your tasks ready to see new solutions to a business challenge.

Whether it’s gaining new insights or making contacts at one of our Commerce Club luncheons, participating in one of our committees with colleagues, out on the greens with clients at our golf tournament, or honoring a leader at our Maritime Dinner, the Port Bureau is all about connecting you with others in industry intent on getting a fresh perspective.

As a part of seeing business from a fresh perspective over the last year, the Port Bureau pursued the development of a five-year strategic plan. We hired the management consulting firm of Lion & Stutz to guide us through the process and to obtain input from you, our membership, which we greatly appreciated. Making ourselves think ahead during a year of persistent COVID, an unbelievable winter freeze in Texas, and supply chain disruptions, was not easy – a brain game in and of itself. It did help us, however, to generate that prized fresh perspective as to how we can elevate the member experience and continue to grow in supporting the port region through everchanging obstacles.

The priorities of the strategic plan are what we seek to implement in 2022, with the aim of making membership with the Port Bureau an integral part of the business plan of Houston Ship Channel companies. If you’d like to know a little more about it, click here to read what Port Bureau chairman, Bernt Netland, shares in his annual membership letter. Details aside, increasing your capacity to see new solutions and a fresh perspective for the future is our underlying commitment in every Port Bureau endeavor!

Looking back at 2021, I think we can all agree that re-strategizing to overcome unexpected obstacles was the name of the game. As we open 2022, are you wrestling with a puzzle-solving challenge? If that final piece just won’t drop into place, then maybe it’s the perfect time to check in with the Port Bureau. You are invited to be a part of everything we have to offer and urge you to join or renew today! We are looking forward to sharing in your fresh perspective in 2022.

About the Author

CAPT Bill Diehl, USCG (Ret.), P.E. is president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau. Utilizing his 30+ years of marine safety and port operations experience, he guides the Port Bureau in bringing members and community partners together for cooperation and collaboration to improve and advance the port region.