HR Seminar Singapore: Building a High-Performance Team

3 Minutes

On the 26th of September, Elliott Scott HR Singapore held a seminar in partnership with Arca...

On the 26th of September, Elliott Scott HR Singapore held a seminar in partnership with Arcadia Consulting and LinkedIn.

We welcomed special guest Jamie Boag, Director of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team (ADOR), winners of the 2014/5 Volvo World Ocean Race.

The race is regarded by many as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, traversing 45,000 nautical miles and spanning six continents. What makes the race unique is that the boats are of one design, meaning that the only difference between them is their teams.

During the 2014/15 campaign a top business school conducted a unique leadership study on ADOR, looking at what factors gave them the edge in a race where boats can finish within minutes of each other after twenty days of racing, and how this can be applied to the world of business.

Jamie explained how the drivers can be broken down into three key phases:

Set up:

Focus on your team culture. Respect that everyone operates differently and recruit across the spectrum of experience, skills and attitude. Insist on team discipline and ensure you have a thorough induction and training process.


The plan you’ve made can always be improved upon. In order to develop it you need to be open to feedback and willing to listen to suggestions by consulting with your colleagues and asking questions. It’s also important to step outside of your environment in order to learn; other businesses and individuals will have successful parallels from which you can draw. 


The relationships between team members need to be good or at least ‘good enough’, where there is a mutual appreciation of an individual’s strengths and people are allowed to be specialists in their fields. Encourage collaboration and have in place a clear team system in which people know where they stand. 


Having common targets helps to unite a team. Put in place simple goals, short or long term that everyone can understand and work to. To further help with motivation everyone should also have their own goals to work towards, aiding their progression. 

The learnings from the study have been turned into a HPT activator, the ‘World Ocean Race Corporate Challenge’ in which your team can experience the thrilling interactive simulation of managing and operating a racing team and the behaviours which drive winning performance. 

The event closed with further networking and discussions over drinks and canapés. 

If you would be interested in attending any of Elliott Scott HR’s future events, follow us on LinkedIn and keep an eye on our events page.