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WE ARE HIRING!

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The Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce is currently looking for an Operations Manager/Relationship Manager/CEO.

 

 

POSITION SUMMARY:

This role supports the board of the NACC in delivering on its objectives, including:

  • Creating networking opportunities for members and their communities
  • Promoting, encouraging and facilitating trade, commerce and investment
  • Creating awareness of ties between Australia and Norway

 

The main focus is on (1) marketing and communications, administration and event management; and (2) member engagement, management, retention and acquisition.

 

SKILLS:

  • Customer relationship building
  • Accounting and finance understanding (to pay invoices and report monthly account status)
  • Customer service
  • Confidence & professional presentation
  • Proactive & assertive nature
  • Attention to detail
  • Must be tech savvy and able to use Mac or Microsoft Suits as well as learn Mailchimp, Stripe, WordPress, Eventbrite, and social media
  • Norwegian language preferred but not required

 

COMPETENCIES AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Degree in Marketing, Communications or Business Administration preferred
  • At least 2 years previous work experience (in any field)
  • At least 1 year administration experience
  • Board management experience or similar preferred
  • Excellent English written and oral
  • Customer Service Experience

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

Design and distribute the monthly newsletter from MailChimp

  • Get info from the board
  • Set up events on the website
  • Check Contact email
  • Test that links and everything work before sending

 

Current Member Management

  • Set up 2 phone meeting for Board Members in PipeDrive each month
  • Call at least 5 members per month and update info in our CRM PipeDrive
  • Talk to members about whether they know other prospect members
  • Send membership renewal and invoice
  • Do whatever is required to retain members

 

Prospect Member Management

  • Contact prospect members by phone and email regularly
  • Meet with potential members regularly and tell them about NACC
  • Sign up new members

 

New Member Management

  • Add member profiles to website
  • Send welcome email to new members when they pay and the contact email receives a notification
  • Send welcome letter and pin
  • Make welcome phone call with details below (tell President)
  • Add member to MailChimp newsletter list
  • Invite member to social media accounts
  • Update contact details
  • Get member to post our logo on their website

 

Finance Management

  • Update accounts
  • Pay invoices
  • Send invoices
  • Collect invoices
  • Update the numbers in the minutes sheet
  • Monthly financial statements

 

Event Management

  • Organise NACC events
  • Find sponsors for events
  • Attend events, prepare for events (see events run sheet)
  • Add events to website
  • Add events to Eventbrite if applicable
  • Create and send event invitations from MailChimp
  • Post events to social media
  • Call and email members directly to check if they are attending events
  • Part take in organising & promoting: European cruise in Nov, informal Christmas drinks in Dec, Scandinavian Film Festival in Jun, and promote

Euromix x 2-4.

Marketing Management

  • Keep update on member social media accounts and share in social media
  • Manage social media in collaboration with interns & President (weekly posts)
  • Share news in social media

 

General Administration

  • Attend Board meetings and take minutes, 1st Monday of the month, 4:30-6pm
  • Distribute minutes, agenda, and action items to the board, monthly
  • Weekly 15 minute phone catch up with the President
  • Update Database and CRM
  • Keep the Google Drive tidy, clear, orderly

 

REMUNERATION

  • Depends on experience and responsibilities
  • Salary will be between $20-30 per hour with 20 hours work per week minimum + board meeting attendance (Approx. $1600-$2400 /month)
  • Commission on membership sales available if of interest

 

HOW TO APPLY:

  • Send an email with your resume to contact@norwegianchamber.com.au, and add your name in the subject field like this: JOB APPLICATION: MAX SKAUGEN.
  • Only successful candidates will be called in for an interview.

 

 

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VIKING CRUISES` VIKING SUN HEADS TO SYDNEY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FEB 2018

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VIKING CRUISES SIX MONTH COUNTDOWN TO SYDNEY ARRIVAL

Viking Sun arrives in February 2018 sailing the company’s first-ever World Cruise

10 August 2017 – Viking Cruises’ newest ocean ship, Viking Sun, heads to Sydney for the first time in February 2018, marking the brand’s debut in Australian waters.

The sold out Viking World Cruise from Miami to London will visit Sydney on 10 and 11 February, as part of the 141 day cruise covering five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. The cruise will visit seven ports across Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Cairns, Thursday Island and Darwin before heading to Asia.

“The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge meant the decision to include the iconic harbour city of Sydney on the World Cruise itinerary was unquestionable. It is great to be able to share such a beautiful part of the world with Viking guests,” said Michelle Black, Managing Director Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand. “Our itineraries are created with fewer sea days and more time in port, than any other cruise line and our selection of curated shore excursions are designed to showcase the best of each port we visit.”

The long-awaited arrival of Viking Cruises in Australia, will see guests admire the iconic Sydney Opera House, visit the historical Rocks district and explore the world-famous Bondi Beach. Plus, optional excursions will see guests explore Sydney’s Inner West, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cockatoo Island or head further afield to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains.

Viking will also begin homeporting out of Australia and New Zealand in December 2018 on a brand-new itinerary that will see Viking Spirit, the fifth ship to join the fleet in July 2018, spend three months of the year cruising between Sydney and Auckland. The 15-day Australia and New Zealand cruise will cover nine ports of call including Melbourne and Hobart before crossing the Tasman and stopping at six ports in New Zealand.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Viking Cruises is the leader in river cruising, operating a fleet of 66 vessels that offer destination-focused itineraries. In 2015, the cruise line launched its first ocean ship, Viking Star. By 2022 the company will operate eight 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the world’s largest small ship ocean cruise line.

For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 or visit vikingcruises.com.au/oceans. To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit facebook.com/vikingcruisesAUNZ.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:

Viking World Cruise Australian Itinerary

 

8 February 2018                 Melbourne (Day 55)

10 February 2018              Sydney (Day 57)                 

11 February 2018              Sydney (Day 58)                 

13 February 2018              Brisbane (Day 60)              

15 February 2018              Whitsunday Islands – Cid Harbor (Day 62)               

16 February 2018              Cairns (Day 63)

17 February 2018              Scenic Cruising: Great Barrier Reef (Day 64)         

18 February 2018              Thursday Island (Day 65)

21 February 2018              Darwin (Day 68)

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How to network your way to success

By: Sophia Demetriades

We’ve all heard it before; ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ or ‘it’s not who you know, its how you manage those you know’. No matter the quote, the message is clear; success is more about the actions you take to achieve it. If it is true that we are the sum of the people around us, we need to engage with people who in some way will help us achieve what we want. You could say that the future of your business is born through your networks!

Unfortunately, many of us are not efficient networkers. Excusitis claims reasons such as: “I‘m too shy”, “it hasn’t worked in the past”, “I don’t have time” etc etc. But can you really afford not to network when its the most likely way for you to win work?

When it comes to networking, quality definitely means more than quantity. You need to spend time building genuine relationships. In business, there is no point knowing hundreds of people if none of them mean anything to you. Referrals are the most robust strategy in job hunting. In short, a referral means that someone who knows you endorses you to someone else in their network and vice versa. No job application needed.

Mark Foster from WaveTrain has had great success meeting people through the Norwegian Chamber. In 2015 Mark attended the annual Cruise for Europeans, a networking cruise on Sydney harbour for all the European Chamber of Commerce. Here. Mark was introduced to members of the German Chamber of Commerce through Norwegian Danielle Mathiesen. Mark was then introduced to Deutche Bahn who became a  client of WaveTrain. People are 62% more likely to do business with someone who is a member of a Chamber of Commerce.

Michelle Gamble from Marketing Angels, agrees. I met Michelle at a networking event for Small Business September in 2009 where she spoke about the power of social media. Two years later Michelle hired one of my friends Erin, who I had met at a university course the previous year. So for both business and employment, networking works. More than 60% of employment happens through networking.

So what skills are required to network like a pro?

Ivan Misner Ph.D. is one of the worlds most renowned academics and professionals in networking. Misner has conducted research on his privately owned professional business network, Business Network International, for more than 20 years. The research confirms a set of 7 must have skills to be a pro networker:

  1. Be sincere
  2. Have a positive and flexible attitude
  3. Listen properly, don’t just wait for your turn to talk
  4. Follow up on referrals, call or meet in person
  5. Work your network effectively
  6. Be trustworthy and Reliable
  7. You must like to help others

 

Make sure you make an effort to learn what these 7 skills mean and how you can employ them. Tell people about them. Make a networking scorecard and game plan for how you will network in the future. If you would like to learn more, you can buy Misner's books ‘networking like a pro’ and ‘networking and sex’ or contact me for resources.

Next time you meet someone:

    1      Introduce yourself in context

    2      Be Interested

    3      Request Contact Information

    4      Follow up

Because future business is born through networks!

Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl

Sophia has been a professional networker for 6 years, owned a networking business for students looking for work and internships, built an online marketplace for connecting employers and interns, worked as a networking trainer for Business Networks International (BNI), worked as a relationship manager for entrepreneurial networks, and founded a bi-lateral Chamber of Commerce.

7 Vital Networking Skills:

7 vital networking skills

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Annual General Meeting 2017

October 10th The Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce had its annual general meeting at Radisson Blue in Sydney CBD. Sophia, the president of NACC lead the meeting in an orderly fashion, and took the meeting through its agenda.

The chamber has had success with its activities this past year, and financials are looking good. There was an engaged debate on events for next year, and many good suggestions were made, especially considering a potential Christmas party for 2018. The young professionals have also been successful in their monthly events with networking events, and they strive for a membership growth, and higher turnout at events.

During the meeting everyone who came had a chance to introduce themselves and there were plenty of time to meet new people, as well as greet old friends.

At the meeting there was an election for the board, and these are the new/re-elected board members.

 

At the meeting NACC started its new projects which is making a film to promote Norwegian business in Australia that will feature on the Chamber and Embassy websites.

Thanks to everyone who came, and we hope to see you all at the cruise with the Europeans.

 

Photos: Jonathan Stokkland

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5 Ways to Enjoy Oslo Like a True Local by 50 Degrees North

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5 Ways to Enjoy Oslo Like a True Local

08 May, 2017, by Ivy Thompson

 

Going to Norway’s capital Oslo as part of your Norway tour and have your CityPass organised? Take advantage of the easy and well-built public transport system to experience the sights just like a true local:

 

1. Hike around Lake Sognsvann

Growing up in Oslo myself, Lake Sognsvann was the destination for annual school sports-days, end-of-year BBQs and hikes. And no wonder- the magnificent beauty of Oslo is it’s close proximity to nature. The lush forest surrounding the capital is lovingly referred to as ‘Marka’ (the ‘Field’) by the locals who make the most of it rain, hail or shine.

How to get there: Lake Sognsvann is easily accessible by catching the west-bound ‘Number 5 Sognsvann’ Subway/ T-bane from the city. Ride it till the final stop, get off and follow the path down to the walking-trail that goes round the lake. The hike is a scenic and easy 3.5 km. In summer locals bring their bathers for a dip in the refreshing water, or simply wade in the shallows. Icecreams and refreshments can be bought at one of the 2 local kiosk.

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Image credit: lukasz.ptak/Foap/Visitnorway.com

2. Enjoy a picnic in the Vigeland Sculpture Park

Most tourists visiting Oslo schedule a visit to the famous and spectacular Vigeland sculpture-park. This gorgeous park has to be seen to be believed: Locals love and use the park frequently, and for good reason. I highly recommend you take the trip and stroll around the park in your own time if your Oslo itinerary allows for it. While a guided tour is interesting and gives you the story behind sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s vision, this park is best enjoyed slowly. There are many areas, gardens, sculptures and fountains to explore. Have your pick from the many steps and benches, sit down and take in the view. We always stop by a nearby supermarket or bakery for provisions to enjoy in the park.

Travelling with kids? They’ll love the enormous adventure-playground located near the main-gates inside the park. How to get there: Tram #12 stops right in front of the main-gates, and so does the 21-bus. You can catch either from the city centre.

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Image credit: Terje Borud - Visitnorway.com/Vigeland-museet/BONO

3. Take a stroll along Aker Brygge, Tjuvholmen and Akershus Festning (Medieval Fort)

Aker Brygge is where the action is at during the spring and summer months in Norway’s capital city.  The shopping centre located along the inner part of the blue Oslo-fjord is buzzing with life from morning through to the small hours: it’s the place to see and be seen. Aker Brygge is much more than just another shopping strip; it offers bars, cafes, restaurants, speciality shops, an upmarket supermarket, and a fantastic opportunity to spend a few hours people watching by the pier. If fjord-watching is more your thing, Aker Brygge has you covered: it’s a lovely spot to sit and watch boats, ferries and cruise-ships pass by.

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Floating Sauna near the Oslo Opera House, Image credit: VISITOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

 

Continue to walk along the pier till you hit the very end, cross the narrow walking-bridge, and you’ll find yourself in the newly constructed borough called Tjuvholmen (translates to ‘The Thief Islet’). The home of art installations, sculptures, world-class restaurants, the trendy Thief Hotel, coffee, shiny apartment-buildings, the acclaimed Astrup Fearnley-Museum and it’s very own inner-city Sea Baths (bring bathers and a towel!); the 2017-version of Tjuvholmen is a far cry from the shipping container dock we used to walk past in the early 90s.

 

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Image credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

You can’t miss the striking medieval fort Akershus Festning directly across the fjord from Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen. The stone-castle was built in the late 13th century, and is located in front of what was once Old Town Oslo. Walking around the castle grounds is relaxing, albeit steep at times. The magnificent view over the harbour is well worth the hills though.

How to get there: Several buses and trams will take you down to the square called Vestbaneplassen in front of Oslo Town Hall, which marks the start of Aker Brygge/ Tjuvholmen to your right, and the Akershus Fort to your left (if you face the fjord). It’s also a very short walk from the Nationaltheatret railway/ subway/ bus- and tram stops.

 

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Image credit: CH - visitnorway.com

4. Visit the beaches on the Bygdoy Peninsula

You probably don’t associate Oslo with beaches (and neither do I) but let’s embrace the concept: us Oslo-locals flock to the Bygdoy Peninsula during the summer school-holidays or any sunny day for that matter. It’s a gorgeous area west of the city. The peninsula is also the home of famous museums such as the Viking Ship Museum, The Kon-Tiki Museum, The Fram Museum and The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

But museums aside; for us locals Bygdoy offers cliffs, rocks, small sandy beaches, volleyball courts, forest, walking tracks and plenty of lush grass where we can embrace nature and those unpredictable warm summer-days. The two beaches are called Huk and Paradisbukta (Paradise Bay). Do as the locals and make the most of the light summer evenings by bringing a rug and good company. It’s hard to find a lovelier spot to enjoy our capital.

How to get there: Catch the #30-bus from the city and get off at the very last stop (it's a large car-park). There are clearly marked signs to both Huk and Paradisbukta.

 

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Evening fjord boat tours will pass this area. Image credit: VisitOSLO/Thomas Johannessen

5. Walk from The Majorstua Building to the Oslo Central Station

While Oslo is the biggest city in Norway, it’s still small in comparison to most capital-cities worldwide. But small does not a boring city make: Oslo offers amazing shopping and sights, especially if you decide to tackle the city-centre by foot. Start your inner-city walk from the main-hub of the Inner West; The Majorstua Building (this is also a major subway-stop). It marks the very beginning of Bogstadveien; the main-shopping strip of the inner-west.

Full of shops with the latest in local design, fashion and homewares it offers something for everyone. Follow the road till it changes to Hegdehaugsveien, a road known for it’s bustling cafe-, restaurant and nightlife. When you get to the very end of Hegdehaugsveien you’ll find yourself across the road/ corner of the Royal Palace and its surrounding gardens. Walk the path through the relaxing castlegrounds, watch the National Guards on duty, and look ahead past the statue of Karl Johan: Oslo’s car-free main street, the Karl Johan’s Gate, is lying ahead of you.

 

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Karl Johan St, Image credit: VISITOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

The main-street goes continues all the way down towards the East of the city, and ends in front of the Oslo Central Station. While the street and its side-streets are always buzzing with life, it’s particularly busy in summer, when people flock outside to catch up over cold drinks under the trees in the many cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Christmas/ Winter brings a different kind of charm when the large water-feature outside the Paleet Shopping Centre turns into an ice-skating rink. It’s open from November through to March and is free to use- skates can be hired at the venue. I find it particularly magic around Christmas-time when the Karl Johan Street is dressed in seasonal lights, enhanced by the darkness of the short days and long nights.

How to get there: Depending on the location of your accommodation, you can either walk to The Majorstua Building and walk south towards Oslo Central Station. Alternatively you can flip it around and start south, and walk towards Majorstua instead. Both starting-points are centrally located and easy to get to.

 

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Image credit: Tord Baklund / VisitOSLO

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Christmas in Oslo, Image Credit: CH/visitnorway.com

50 Degrees North specialises in holiday travel to Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Arctic and Russia. We specialise regionally, as we believe it is not possible to be good at everything. We are a specialist tour operator, but can also help book your international flights as a full service travel agent.

All our Norway tours are listed here.

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Norwegian shows to watch in Australian Netflix this spring

Many of our favourite Norwegian TV shows are now available on Netflix in Australia, here is an introduction to some of them.

 

Kon Tiki

Kon Tiki

Kon Tiki is a Norwegian movie from 2013 and it is about Thor Heyrdahls with the same name. It was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign film and won four Amanda awards. It quickly became a Norwegian classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupied

Occupied

Occupied is set in a futuristic Norway where they have stopped all oil production, and as a result EU hires Russia to occupy Norway to have them restart it. The series is set to an idea by Jo Nesbø, bestselling Norwegian author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOBEL

Nobel – peace at any cost

Nobel is a show about an Norwegian soldier in Afghanistan, “In Nobel, two stories carefully intertwine as a returning soldier and family man becomes a pawn in a political international game. As the stakes grow higher he is forced to discover just how far one should go in the name of peace” – IMDB The main character portrayed by the famous Aksel Hennie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norsemenn

Norsemenn

Norsemenn is a satiric show about Viking life, in involves many loved Norwegian actors, and it is all set in English. The action takes place in 790AD and it shows the challenges the Vikings would go through in their daily life and how they dealt with rivalries, gender inequality, raids and power struggles. The show won “gullruten” for best humor program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow TV

Slow TV is whe you follow something for a certain period of time, for instance Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes, or knitting a whole sweater. One TV channel will be dedicated to send it live for as long as it taked to finnish, this means hours of entertainment. Head on to Netflix and see what you favourite slow TV will be.

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Tax, R&D, and Personnel Secondment Advice from KPMG

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KPMG kindly hosted a Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce evening at their offices in Perth.  The talks were excellent and certainly prompted a lot of discussions afterward.

The talks covered three main areas:

Cost saving ideas - five ways to cut taxes for yourself and your company. Caroline Hickson, Director, KPMG.

The Research and Development tax credit in Australia. What is it and is your organization eligible to make a claim? James Edwards, Partner, KPMG.

Tricks and traps of seconding staff to Australia – employment law basics. James Simpson, Partner, KPMG Law.

Caroline started the process looking at individuals, often working from home and how they could reduce personal income taxes.  This included an interesting look at the ATO “My deductions” app and the process of keeping a 12 week travel log that can then be used as a basis for claims relating to business use of a personal vehicle for 5 years, providing of course that circumstances do not change.

The talk moved onto larger companies with some very interesting points about FBT and Data Analytics.  For FBT there is now a draft ATO ruling about work related travel expenses providing greater clarity around situations where travel costs will attract FBT. Making sure that travel aligns with the ATO guidance could give companies significant savings over the years.

Data Analytics certainly seems to be a useful tool for larger companies judging by the examples.  Some examples were Payroll Health Checks, including ensuring that salary sacrifice was carried out correctly and  payroll tax calculated on the correct values, testing superannuation calculations for correct capping, and finally an investigation into FBT costs; where was money being spent and how does this compare to other organisations? Any anomalies could point to an opportunity to review company policies around expenditure on items such as entertainment.

James Edwards gave some very interesting insights into the funding of R&D and commercialisation, including the fact that there are two main areas of government support being the R&D Tax Incentive, an entitlement based benefit which can provide a reduction in tax payable or a cash rebate;  and grant based programs which are traditionally competitive based with a need for matched funding.

For the R&D Tax Incentive, there was of course the question on what could be defined as eligible R&D activity, and the main tests broadly revolve around generation of new or improved products, processes, devices, services etc.; technical uncertainty and the presence of experimentation or testing.

There are many qualifying areas that companies need to be aware of, not least being who “owns” the R&D activity and hence the right to claim it under the R&D Tax Incentives – this ownership test considers three key issues being the right to exploit the intellectual property stemming from the R&D activities, the day to day control of the activities and bearing of the financial risk in undertaking the activities.

Another big question was what information had to be registered with the regulators to support the R&D Tax Incentive claim.  Basically the registration document includes information relevant to each eligible R&D activity including areas of new knowledge being developed along with the associated technical uncertainty plus details of the experiments or tests that have or are anticipate to be performed.  Additional substantiation documentation must be maintained by claiming companies to evidence their R&D activities.

Last but not least James Simpson covered seconding staff to Australia.  It seems that even sophisticated companies can get it horribly wrong with multiple contracts that contradict each other in multiple different ways.

Contracts often quote policies and it is important to know how binding specific policies are. Generally it is recommended that they be advisory rather than contractually binding.

An interesting proposal was the personnel coming into Australia should undergo an induction on the laws that will be applicable to them while they are working here, this can cover things such as occupational health and safety which can vary dramatically from country to country.

Very briefly if you want to maximise a successful deployment of someone to Australia, consider the following points.

  • Get a clear contract that applies to Australia.
  • Consider the most appropriate jurisdiction for the contract; and
  • Ensure the contract adequately addresses the relevant visa conditions.

 

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Challenging the ‘I’ in team – the recipe for a perfect team starts with you

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For most of my working life I been part of a team. Some teams have been small and some have been big. I have been the team rookie, I have been the team fossil, and I have lead some of them myself. I have been extremely fortunate; all the teams have been truly awesome and have given me the opportunity to work with a lot of talented and passionate people. A common thread in these successful teams has been my willingness and openness to engaging with the team by being guided by strategies to get there from management and the broader company.

 

A direct correlation has been shown between the quality of the relationships in a team and the quality of the work the team produce. Team-building takes many forms and doing activities together is fun, great for team spirit and more importantly brings us together face to face (or side by side). All organisations want people and teams that consistently deliver high quality output. Unfortunately, we can’t go offsite, climb mountains, drive go-carts and do cooking classes every week. So, how do we nurture and fuel the team spirit and maintain relationships in a team between the annual team-building day; and why is it so important?

 

There are a whole range of reasons, some more obvious than others. Some of the most attractive organisations to work for globally have done extensive research around creating the perfect team. Over a two-year period, Google interviewed 180 teams and hundreds of employees searching for the recipe. What they found wasn’t what they expected. Who is on the team matters less than how the team members interact. High performing teams almost always displayed these 5 characteristics; “Psychological Safety” being the most important.

 

So if that’s the case, what is the best way and what is the benefit of creating an environment where people feel psychologically safe? Let’s look at a few favourites.

 

#Social Interaction.

Our social relationships have been shown to be the key to happiness in our personal lives. What might come as a surprise is that it also seems to be of great importance in the workspace. Not only does Google know how to create the perfect team, according to LinkedIn, employees who are hired to work for the most attractive company globally enjoy working there so much that they never want to leave. Google understand the value of people meeting face to face. Giving employees access to large areas with lounges and ping pong tables is about creating a space for people to meet, discuss, exchange ideas and have great conversations that might lead to new innovations and ‘the next big thing’. By increasing human interaction just a little, performance can increase a lot.

 

#Trust.

One of the key factors in great relationships is trust. In order to build trust we need to get to know each other. As with social interaction, this doesn't just apply in our personal life, it is also the case in our professional lives.

When people know and trust each other they also become more tolerant and supportive. They are more understanding and willing to get the job done. “Having teams that are open, trusting, and supportive of each other is a critical driver of an innovation culture”, writes Amantha Imber in her book The Innovation Formula. With the constant changes in the digital space, innovation is not only a buzz word, it’s necessary, in some places more than others. A company whose culture values teamwork alongside with risk and distributed leadership seems to inherently be more adaptable to these changes. Maybe it’s because they feel trusted to take risk and get the job done.

 

“Having teams that are open, trusting, and supportive of each other is a critical driver of an innovation culture”

 

#Empowerment.

Letting employees have a say and allowing them to make decisions is shown to increase productivity and work place satisfaction. More importantly, getting people on the ground doing the job and making suggestions about how to work smarter, increases productivity and cut costs; this in turn can make a big difference to the bottom line. Mining Company BHP Billiton did just that. They invited employees to put forward suggestions. A quarter of close to nine thousand employees made 4700 suggestions and the company believe it contributed to a total savings of close to 4 Billion dollars as a result. So not only is it good for the bottom line, employees end up feeling more involved and engaged at work which is positive in itself.

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#Love

A little bit of love in the work place will also go a long way. Love doesn’t have to be a policy, but it can. Putting the interest of another person before yourself. Love can and should be a guiding star and philosophy in how we treat each other both in and outside of work. Love is about being comfortable with conflict and difficult conversations. In my opinion, what is even more important is the presence of love in everyday work life. A simple smile and giving someone the compliment they deserve can be enough.

I have experienced this myself. About ten years ago I was part of an amazing team in Norway. At our monthly sales meetings we would all give a short update about what we had achieved since we last met. Afterwards we would all put a Post-it with our name in a bowl and randomly pull out a note each. We then had to give feedback to another member of the team based on their update to the team, which had to positive.

The session was inspired by a segment from a reality show. The show called it “Black camel, White camel” where the contestants gave out one black camel for poor behaviour and a white camel for good behaviour to other contestants.

We renamed it “White camel, White camel” as it was all about creating a positive team environment. It sounds silly thinking about it but after this simple exercise where we put effort and into focusing on positive things we were all left feeling good, I know I did.

 

We tend to spend a lot of energy on things we can’t change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good rant and believe there needs to be a space where one can voice opinions, maybe give out a few black camels too. We shouldn’t ignore the ‘black camels” and there are ways of addressing negative thoughts and obstacles for success. By turning negative feedback and statements into questions we open for exploration and possibilities. The truth is that it feels much more rewarding giving out white camels and focus on positive qualities and behaviours and we should strive to turn the black ones into possibilities rather than barriers.

 

“The quality of the relationships in a team has been shown to directly correlate with the quality of the work the team produce”

 

There are many other factors that can play a role in how a team performs. Let’s revisit and look at factors like team size, gender mix and the manager and the role they play at a later stage. Elements like engagement, social relationships and trust, psychological safety and love are all things that we all can influence and practice to increase performance of self, colleagues and team.

 

Smile, give compliments, grab a coffee or go for a walk with a colleague. Schedule a lunch or after work drinks with people in your team this week. Ask each other questions and talk about things outside of work too. Don’t know what to talk about? Use tools like FuelBox with a 170 questions to get the conversation started and remember that great conversations are made up of both talking and listening. This won’t make the perfect team straight away but it’s a good start and best of all, you can do this today.

 

The original post can be found here. To read more about what FuelBox can do for your relationships, at work and at home, visit fuelboxaustralia.com.au here.

 

#team building #social interaction #professional development #relationships #fueltheworld

#conversations #fuelbox #fuelbox australia, #joergen broers, #jørgen brørs,

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Interview with Lene Skaug, Teacher and Translator

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Today, we get to know the Chambers Norwegian and English teacher Lene Skaug, who runs her own teaching and translating business from Sydney, Australia. Learning a language is a great way to stretch your brain, and Lene teaches both face-to-face and online, so if you or your staff want to pick up some Norwegian phrases or widen your vocabulary, you should get in touch with Lene here.

 

  1. What kind of clients are you looking for?

 

I’m looking for all people / businesses interested in learning Norwegian and learning more about Norway and the Norwegian culture. I offer private Norwegian tuition in my home office in Manly or lessons via Skype.
I am also happy to create Special Intensive Courses for businesses around Australia interested in their employees learning some typical Norwegian greetings, expressions and/or work-related vocabulary.

 

  1. What’s happening in your industry right now?

 

The interest in learning Norwegian has been steady for the last 10-15 years, but the big change is the new possibilities via Skype and all the online resources and communication tools available for learning languages. Now it is much easier for example to get a private tutor that suits your schedule because of skype, and the increase in tourism and cheaper flights also mean that more people are travelling to Norway more often, e.g. Australian grand parents with grandchildren in Norway, or students and partners with friends and families in both countries.

 

  1. What is your passion? Or what drives you to get up in the morning?

 

I am passionate about learning and self-development, and being part of other people’s journey, other people wanting to learn and to grow. My purpose is to enhance a person’s learning and learning experience. Open up new possibilities in meeting with others and other cultures.

 

  1. What is a great learning experience you’ve made in the workplace?

I have learned a lot from the environment and surroundings; the atmosphere is so important for all kinds of work I would argue, and especially learning and teaching.  I’m teaching English to immigrants and international students in Sydney, and Norwegian to Australian people in Sydney, and there is a big difference in learning English as a second language (learners live in the country of the language being taught) and Norwegian as a foreign language (you don’t live in the country of the language being taught). I find that most Norwegians really appreciate people who makes that great effort which it is to learn Norwegian, but I think we all forget at times how much time and effort it takes, because Norwegian people learn and hear English around them all the time, which of course is not the case of learning Norwegian when in Australia. Time and effort is necessary to pass that first hurdle when learning a new language. But as mentioned previously, with all the online possibilities today, there are so many more tools available to you to learn a new language.

 

  1. What are you interested in learning more about?

 

I became a member of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce, because I’m interested in learning more about Norwegian and Australian cooperation and businesses, and the importance of language and culture for this development. Networking and information talks like the one by Ulf Sverdrup on “The future of the European Union” are things I want to take part in.

 

  1. Are there any Norwegian traditions you miss?

 

The value of public schooling and hospitals, equal education for all children and youth. I don’t miss Norwegian food in general, but when I’m in Norway, I love eating typical Norwegian food, and when I’m in Australia, I like my Australian food. However, there is one thing that I miss and that’s Norwegian bread. Last year I came across this great Rye bread at “Rema”, and it’s impossible to find anything like that in Sydney. And of course, I miss keeping track of all the things happening in Norwegian cultural life, e.g. music, arts, writers and movies.

 

What I don’t miss? Maybe we take things a bit for granted in Norway. Except for the weather. It’s always the weather to keep us grounded.

 

 

Lene Skaug, teacher and translator. Master of Applied Linguistics (TESOL). www.norsk.com.au

 

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Introducing the new Young Professionals board

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The Norwegian-Australian Young Professionals is glad to introduce our new board (from left):

Alexander Paskal Paulsen - Vice President

Mariann Ratama - Event Manager

Marius Quamme Danielsen - President

Line Vo - Membership Manager

 

The board looks forward to continue building up the Young Professionals divison, and hope to see you at their future events.

The first event under the new board will be arranged on the 27th of June at 6pm at El Loco at Slip Inn in the CBD.

Please find the link to the facebook event here, and remember to like their facebook page.

 

 

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