The Covestro ship left harbor today. After months of preparation and with everything she needed for her voyage, she set sail for a new horizon. Life will never be quite the same. There’s no turning back, no second thoughts, no time to think about what might have been. And so it is, on the day that children all across Europe are going back to school, some for the first time, in one way or another we are all facing towards a new future.

At the beginning of any project, there is always excitement among the uncertainty and expectations of what might be, and you can be forgiven for not always seeing the bigger picture above the detail of everyday life.  But there comes a time when the significance of what one has been working on becomes real. For some it will be graduation day, or the wedding of a son or daughter. In business it can be as simple as winning an award or having an article in a magazine.

Successful businesses, just like successful people, become so by battling through even the toughest storms. They learn from their mistakes and combine what they have observed into a form of wisdom that they pass on to those around them. And bearing that in mind, I wish the Covestro ship plain sailing and calm seas. But even the wisest sailor knows that storms are inevitable and it is how we prepare for them that matters most.

Today, as I stand on the quayside with all the others who lent a hand, I cannot help but feel like a parent seeing their child entering a new classroom for the first time, watching and wondering what next?

And just in case you are wondering, Covestro is a large multi-national material solutions company. It makes all sorts of funky products that make our lives more comfortable in one way or another. Today it broke away from the security of being part of the giant Bayer group to be floated on the German stock exchange and to find its own way from now on.

Have a good week