During two days at the end of March, 47 Svitzer managers gathered in Abu Dhabi to share lessons learned and chart the course ahead.

The conference was closely related to the Raise the Wind strategy. As the strategy itself and its underlying initiatives are well established, the focus during these two days was on how we should proceed. We want to accelerate our roll-out of the initiatives to ensure that we meet our targets. In order to do this, it is imperative that the management team shares a common leadership commitment. In his opening remarks, CEO Robert Uggla presented three overarching objectives for the conference, which were to help managers:
• Align our objectives and priorities across the organisation so we all pull in the same direction 
• Share best practices – all teams have contributed to a great global tool box 
• Lead to win – coach and support colleagues across the organisation so we become a winning team 

Day 1 was devoted to examining challenges encountered, sharing lessons learned and discussing “winning tools” to achieve our goals in the Raise The Wind strategy.
In addition to the CEO’s “Play to Win” presentation, regional managers from Europe and Australia covered their respective areas and lessons learned. The goal for Day 2 was to further lay the groundwork for moving forward by examining how Svitzer can become more customer oriented and how managers can “lead to win” in order to achieve our objectives. Conference presentations and discussions made it clear that meeting our strategic targets involves overcoming some key business challenges, including:
• A culture of complacency – how do we improve safety in our operations?
• Unsustainable market positions in some of our competitive ports – how do we regain competitiveness and strength?
• Inconsistent engagement across regions and between offshore and onshore employees – how do we improve engagement across all Svitzer?

The two days were strongly positive, especially as successful implementation of the new strategy during the past two years has made us a more visible business unit within the Maersk Group. In Robert Uggla’s words, “Svitzer has earned its right to grow.” But it was also clear that it is too soon to declare victory: there are concrete challenges and risks. The good news is that we have great people in our organisation to overcome them.

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