Motorola sends staff out to sea for team skills

Communications company Motorola has found that team-building is most
effective when its brightest workers are all at sea.

Under the Leadership Learning Partnership programme, up to 50 Motorola staff
will take to the waves each year with skipper Conrad Humphreys, winner of the
2000-2001 BT Global Challenge round-the-world yacht race, to learn skills that
they can bring to the meeting table back on dry land.

A dozen members of staff, identified as having leadership potential, but
without any previous yachting experience, recently joined Humphreys for the
Round the Island [of Wight] race to enhance their communication and team

Following a day learning how to sail, the team spent the evening talking
tactics before spending the night on board, and joined one thousand yachts the
next day for the race.

Humphreys said the pressures and challenges faced aboard a yacht could be
directly translated into a business environment.

"In a race you have sub-groups who all have to back each other
up," he said. "It’s all about speed and communication. If one person
isn’t performing, then you are out of the race."

Vanessa Loughlin, head of the office of leadership at Motorola, said the
event had been such a success that the company plans to extend the scheme with
an inter-sector Motorola regatta in the future.


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