Captain’s Corner – Setting the Course for Continuous Improvement

One aspect of the Port Bureau I need to talk about more is our Board of Directors. These leaders – not just of the Port Bureau, but of the port region – are dedicated to expanding business and improving the efficiency and sustainability of the Houston Ship Channel region. They understand that incremental gains take time and cooperation. Their counsel to us as a staff can be summed up in the words of Olympian Kim Collins: “strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.”

In leading that effort, our Board has been working since last fall to refine the Port Bureau’s direction and to generate new ideas that will accelerate everything that we do. This effort included standing up a strategic planning committee that met outside of the regular monthly board meetings to consider the Port Bureau’s future and to plot a course for continuous improvement. While the Board felt our overall direction was good for the maritime community, they recognized the potential to do even more. They want added opportunities for members to get involved with the Port Bureau, specifically on advocacy issues, dredging, and efficiency.

With that in mind the Board has decided to modify our membership structure to better the vision of moving forward. The new three-tiered structure allows us to continue serving all members with our long-standing benefits while offering new ways for members who are interested in stepping up their level of involvement. (See for details on the new tiered membership structure.)

Greater participation from more members enables the Port Bureau to strengthen our voice on significant maritime issues that affect us all. We want to lend our support to those working with state and local officials to keep our business climate the most competitive in the nation. We also want to build collaboration to facilitate business expansion as well as ensure the workings of the Houston Ship Channel community are accurately portrayed by media to interested or affected audience groups. Through the establishment of such coalitions as our new Advocacy Advisory Board, we plan to bring more members together to gather and develop ideas for communicating timely, cohesive messages about our exceptional port region.

I realize you might be thinking, “How could I possibly contribute if my company isn’t directly on the waterfront?” Think then, about Malcom McLean, the entrepreneur who revolutionized modern shipping by introducing containerization. Malcom was not in the maritime industry; he was in trucking. By viewing the industry as an outsider, he was able to think outside of the box, which just happened to involve putting cargo into boxes.

His remarkable story just goes to show that good ideas can come from unexpected places – and that a good idea for improving cost-efficiency, expanding business, and revolutionizing the future does not happen without partners who share the vision. Join us with your own ideas for the continuous improvement of maritime commerce.

  • Date July 26, 2017
  • Tags July 2017