All aboard the Vega!

YARA Asia invited country managers from core growth markets to participate in a Team Building / ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ activity. This was held on the waters surrounding Langkawi, Malaysia, on board the Historical Vessel Vega.

Participants formed teams and were introduced to the basics of knot tying and line handling. The teams were allocated sails which they were to be responsible for and members had to organise their work during hoisting and setting sail. This required not only the judgment of abilities within the team but also coordination with other teams who were working on separate sails.

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“There’s a fair bit of emphasis on individual responsibility at your section of the sail and your impact on overall team success. We know we can
always improve as a unit if we are effective and efficient in our own roles but that’s probably also very easy to see when you’re working on getting multiple sails up at the same time between 12 or so people”, says Low Kim Huat, Country Manager, Yara China.

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“The task might seem rather routine, though if you make small changes to the way you work on the knots, deciding who holds the rope and who secures the line, you start to see incremental improvements in the overall time and workflow. Sometimes, improvements are not about drastic change – small steps can help in a big way,” says Adrian Ng, Marketing and Development Manager, BU Asia.

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There was more fun awaiting when teams swapped members, leaving one “experienced” person behind on his sail. His job was to explain and transfer experiences to the new members. The ‘veteran’ would also be evaluating any ideas coming from the new members and how best to integrate different people into individual roles. Teams also had to adapt to surprise situations and find innovative solutions ‘on-the-fly’. Finally, a lunch buffet was prepared on board and the vessel anchored in shallow waters for a view of Langkawi’s nature and seascape

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The agenda also included two days of presentations and discussions at the hotel meeting room.

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The purpose behind this activity was to build team cohesion, trigger discussion and build on the growth agenda for Asia. I think it’s important to remember that it is people who are behind that kind of performance and build on the momentum – and also have some fun while we are at it,” says Terje Knutsen, President of Yara Business Unit Asia.

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