{Replica} Executives in Antarctica: Team Building or Jungle Camp?


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Copyright: Pictures from the creator of the video. Picture Location: Antarctica.

Executives need to be smart and make decisions in extreme conditions, despite stress Team act and be emotionally resilient at all.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Young executives under extreme conditions

"So why prospective executives are not exposed to exactly these extreme conditions and see what happens," thought the Metro Group - jungle camp sends its regards. And just as in the popular TV format, the extreme experiences were also documented by video on YouTube. Sounds like a cool action, but is actually pure hypocrisy!

On the topic of outdoor training for soft skills improvement, I recently came to the attention of an employee of Deutsche Bahn AG. The DB is doing something like for example in the Bavarian town of Regensburg, to the team ability of the participants work out.

Antarctic instead of Bavaria

However, what the Metro Group has come up with is a tougher one: they selected three candidates from around 100 junior executives to compete with environmentalist Robert Swan on a two-week Antarctic expedition in a Young Talent Day competition go - including extreme camping in the ice.

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It was a coincidence that three women were selected. “It is not a women's support program,” emphasizes Simone Zilgen, Head of Staffing and Sourcing / Employer Branding at Metro AG in an interview with Gero Hesse.

Advertising for the employer

What does that promise? Company from the action? Ostensibly, it's about teamwork and responsibility under extreme conditions, as Zilgen emphasizes in an interview. But she also indirectly says what matters:

Not that the participants learn teamwork and responsibility and gain experience, but this under Evidence eg for the video diary published on YouTube. And to advertise their company, as Zilgen quite bluntly states in an interview:

It is about (media) attention

“Although only three employees go on an expedition, many more people follow their video diary online. With the attention inside and outside of our company, we make a sustainable contribution to employer branding. ”

The Metro Group is certain to attract attention due to the unusual campaign. And it is also what makes it more attractive as an employer brand (“oh cool, they send their employees to Antarctica!”), Not the spongy management culture of the company, which is so nicely hypocritical in the interview.

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Actually, nothing changes!

At the same time, Zilgen, as her quotation shows, is quite clear that a one-time action with only three employees in the management and company culture does not really change anything. A few were allowed to travel, the rest can see everything as a video.

Planned are further projects on the subject of corporate and leadership culture, says Zilgen in the end evasive. Whether a trip to the Antarctic will be there is questionable. Probably the company wanted to make a publicity with a costly and unique action - and in the future it will be one size smaller.

More free minds change the corporate culture

It is a pity, but the idea is not bad with the extreme situation for executives: In order to actually change the leadership culture in a company, however, a lot more young people would have to blow their heads in ice cold than just three.

Maybe that would be a bit cheaper - and probably less effective in the media - for example in the Alps. With Regensburg, the German railway may not be so wrong. But who knows: Maybe too many new ideas are not welcome in such a company?

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  1. Philipp Reinhardt

    Good article Mrs. Janson! I like the review a lot, a clever questioning.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you. The idea is indeed very cool in itself.

  2. View Profile

    Metro Group sends three female executives to the Antarctic: Genuine team building or PR gag brand junk ...

  3. Pascal Maurer

    Metro Group sends female executives to Antarctica: Real Teambuilding or PR-Gag brand Dschungelcamp?

  4. Holger Froese

    Metro Group sends three female executives to Antarctica: real teambuilding or PR-brand #Business

  5. Liane Wolffgang

    Metro Group sends three female executives to the Antarctic: Genuine team building or PR gag brand junk ...

  6. Simone Janson

    Metro Group sends three female executives to the Antarctic: Genuine team building or PR gag brand junk ...

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