Leadership and team building – North Sea Challenge

This year we were delighted to have worked with a Felixstowe business engaged in freight forwarding.

A recent change of ownership and injection of  ‘new blood’ into key management roles, had inevitably led to some considerable changes within the company,  and uncertainties for the team members involved.

Using Margerison McCann Team Management Systems (TMSDI), Viking Mariners worked closely with a systems re-engineering consultant, bringing together work on structure, culture and values. After participants completed a simple online questionnaire, we could see that the team management wheel demonstrated unequivocally, where work preferences were leaving a skill gap. A number of options to compensate for these characteristics were then followed in a workshop facilitated by our team.

In between this shore-based work came the sailing, a vital building block of putting leadership and team theories in to practice together.

Setting sail on Friday, the client team took on learning basic sailing skills, split into two watch teams overnigh,t and sailed through stormy conditions, beating a ‘force 8 gale’ across the Channel to Belgium.

We arrived in Nieuwport, Belgium on Saturday at about 10am in the sunshine.  The day saw us working on company goals whilst the gale blew through. The team enjoyed some relaxation time; drinking, eating and sleeping before rising at 5am on a beautifully clear Sunday, to sail back across the English Channel. We sailed back up the River Orwell and in to Ipswich Marina at 7pm, having had a real adventure!

A fantastic achievement for all involved, with some participants who had no previous experience, miraculously becoming sailors in just three days, and the team focus and understanding being improved immeasurably. For those old hands who had been with the business for many years, it was an almost epic revelation in assisting them to see the potential of future opportunities and how new colleagues should not be seen as threats, but as vital additions to what would need to be a bigger team if they were to meet the aspirations of the new owner.

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