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  • Acting differently from the rest

    03/03/2015 | Sanya


    Continuing to do what you always diddoesn’t get you any further. Creating value is about discovering the unknown. Daring to take risks, trying out new things and creating something new; that’s often what makes the difference in a changing environment. That goes for professional sail teams as well as it does for companies. 

    Dare to take risks
    A good example is Team Brunel’s choice for not taking the short southern route like the rest did, at the beginning of leg 5 towards Auckland Very surprisingly they navigated a totally different direction. They dared to take the risk of taking the longer northern route, hoping that the extra wind on that side would give them advance later on. And it succeeded. Later on they lost their first position again, but that’s also ‘part of the game’.

    Without their ambition of continuously learn and grow towards a high performance team, maybe they wouldn’t have had the guts. Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel, has done a great job coaching and stimulating them with that. The talks I had with the Team Brunel crew during the stop-over at Sanya in China, speak for themselves. A couple of highlights from their enthusiastic reactions:

    • We are much better attuned to each other, need less time to get into action. Everything goes faster;
    • In the beginning communication patterns were different. Some members were slightly apart from the team at first; now everyone communicates intensively with everyone;
    • Everyone is being heard; ‘the young ones’ come up with ideas as well;
    • During former races irritations on board usually were smouldering under the surface, which sometimes led to escalations on shore. Thanks to the coaching we speak up sooner. That way, issues stay small and don’t escalate;
    • The appreciation and compliments from our skipper Bouwe Bekking gives us so much more confidence;
    • At a next race, I want a coach again. This is so important!;
    • When we arrive at Gothenburg, we can look each other straight in the eye and say: “We’ve done everything to be successful. And it all started with the question: what do we really want?”

    Camiel Gielkens_01.jpg

    Profile: Camiel Gielkens
    Camiel Gielkens is a senior soft skills trainer and since 2010 the general manager of Schouten China. Mr. Gielkens was previously a senior trainer/advisor of Organizational Development and Change at Schouten & Nelissen in the Netherlands. He has extensive working experience with leading organizations in the US, Europe, and Asia.

    In China he works with fast-growing multinational and local companies on developing their organizations and stimulating learning. Mr. Gielkens’ approach helps participants improve their ability to learn and act. He is a frequent speaker at Learning and Development conferences and an author of several articles in the field. Mr. Gielkens is a graduate of Nyenrode Business School in the Netherlands.



    Leg jumper Legjump2.jpg
    As a leg jumper I experience the streamlined collaboration from up close. I’m deeply impressed by their speed, incredible concentration and almost wordless interaction. Especially the importance of timing is what hits me; apparently nothing really happens, they wait for the right wind to come and then all of a sudden there’s action all over the place, just to profit from the wind as much as possible. Then, with a 40 kilometers speed per hour, I have to jump. Thrilling. Quite high as well. Don’t think, just go! An unforgettable experience.

    Coaching is hot in China
    The inspiring stories of the teams ingrain very well in China. Through all sorts of channels the Volvo Ocean Race comes along. Everyone sympathizes and that tangibly increases the connection with our organization, between mutual colleagues, but with our customers and partners as well.

    Especially the effect of coaching impresses. Business coaching and its implementation, is hot in China and our main product at the moment. We grow about 25 percent each year. Instead of a hype, it has become a serious tool for individuals, teams and organizations to face future challenges successfully in a complex world. Chinese organizations are very much focused on optimizing the collaboration in order to create high performance teams. Interest is increasing in how to make people aware of their inner strengths, trigger them on their talents, on what they are really good at, and reach your goal from there. A goal that touches the heart of people and which they, fully based on an intrinsic motivation, will go and take responsibility for.

    Around the world
    I’m glad that Schouten Global has agreed to sponsor Team Brunel with coaching as well and I’m proud of Anje-Marijcke. Just like we do, they go around the world: a beautiful way to profile ourselves as a global company even more. By coaching the team we have created something new within the world of sailing that pays off. And whatever works for Team Brunel, does work in companies as well!

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