eNewsletter May 2008

GAC Corporate Academy eNews for May 2008
 
 
What's New: GCA Logo Redesign
the new GAC logo unveiled in this month's newsletter We are proud to present you our new GCA logo with a short article explaining the history, rationale and vision behind rebranding the Academy in 2008. The new logo is a direct response to the GAC World rebranding in 2008. Click to read more!
What's New: GCA Governance Board
members of the May quarter GBM in Dubai The quarterly meeting of the GCA Governance Board held on May 18 in Dubai included GLOs from Nigeria, Egypt, 3PL Dubai and China. - Click to read more!
Profile: Sarah Brassington - IGW Facilitator
Sarah Brassington, this month's facilitator profile Originally from Manchester in England, Sarah Brassington is an Introduction to the GAC World (IGW) Facilitator with a background in education and an association with GAC since 2001. Click to read more!
 
Participant Profile: IGW Downunder
Guy Heazlewood of GAC Australia in his townsville office Our participant profile this month features Guy Heazlewood from GAC Australia, Townsville. As a newer GAC member he shares some positive commentary on the Introduction to the GAC World (IGW) course currently run by GCA. Click to read more!
Courses: Sales Strategy - Logistics (SSL)
The Sales Strategy - Logistics (SSL) course is running in London from 5 - 6 June, 2008. Learn about the true art of selling, how to find and convert prospects to sales, and the true value of our solutions from the clients perspective. Click to read more!
Courses: Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI)
the Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI) course logo The basics of written communication, sentence structure, grammar and effective use of email are covered in Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI). This course is provided to participants via our state-of-the-art Learning Management System. Click to read more!
Career Coach: Take the Career you Deserve
A person representing you prepared to take their career The question posed in this career coach is whether you are someone who gets the career you're given or you take the career you deserve. You are in a position every day to become more engaged with your career. Click to read more!
Career Coach: Be an active listener
A person representing you prepared and equipped to listen effectively Active listening is one of the most effective and broad reaching career building skills you can employ. Good communication is both a key ingredient to satisfied customers and effectively undertaken project management. Click to read more!
What's New: GCA Logo Redesign
The redesigned GCA logo

With the recent unveiling of the new and more vibrant GAC logo it is our pleasure to present you with the new GCA logo to take the Academy forward as an entity in our own right. This new logo represents our connection to GAC as well as our own values and mission as an organisation.

Through traditional colours and GAC aligned typography our new logo provides a link to both heritage and our horizon. We are proud to be able to share it with you.

The recent realignment of GAC branding with a new and more vibrant GAC logo has brought a changing face to the organisation, the last change having occurred in the mid 1970's when we adopted the latitude lines. This recent change offered the rationale that it should retain continuity with the historic evolution of the GAC logo. It needed to be simple to reproduce in large and small scale and have an increased impact with the power to engage the world. With its twin yellow marks (representing the traditional latitude lines) and blue solid background, the new GAC logo of 2008 brings with it a sense of speed and movement complementing the tagline "Wherever You Go".

While the GAC Corporate Academy is primarily an internal department within the larger GAC we need to be seen and to operate as a unique entity. With our own rebranding we are proud to present a new logo for the GAC Corporate Academy that aligns with the greater body and heritage of the GAC Group while defining ourselves as a leader in education, knowledge sharing, the pursuit of excellence and clarity of communication and purpose. Our tagline "Learning Wherever You Go" aligns with the corporate tagline of GAC and emphasises our focus on the continuous learning process and strength as a Learning Organisation.

The process of rebranding involved a number of possible logos for the Academy which all retained the original brand mark through traditional colours as well as typography aligned with the GAC brand guidelines. It was a difficult choice but we feel our new logo is one which we can proudly unveil as representative of who we are, our values and our mission.

Several of the alternative logos are worth including in this newsletter to provide you with some context to our branding choice. We give you the new GAC logo.

several of the proposed logos pushed forward for consideration in the redesign process

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What's New: GCA Governance Board

On this month's agenda for the Corporate Academy, the quarterly meeting of the GCA Governance Board (GBM) met on May 18 in Dubai. The GBM is charged with the responsibility of validating GCA's vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, programs, courses and allocation of resources, with review performed using the Balanced Scorecard. A vital element of the quarterly GBM includes an open invitation for GLOs to participate.

Pictured from left to right (below) are Jennifer McGlennon (External Representative), Sherol Fernandes (GCA HRD Executive), Jan Farnelid (GBM Chairman), Waleed Jameel (GCA Operations Manager), Andrew Leach (GBM Board Member), Damien O'Donoghue (GCA General Manager), Rehan Naeem (GCA Business Development Manager), John Tansey (GBM Board Member), Lydia Persis (GCA Programme Manager), Helena Cuenat (GLO 3PL Dubai) and Debbie Nicol (External Representative).

Members of the May Quarter GBM held in Dubai

GLO (GCA Liaison Officer) representatives are crucial members of GCA who are not remunerated for their extra work but who act in a coordination role between participating companies and GCA and can respond quickly to specific enquiries and company needs. In the May GBM, we were very happy to welcome GLOs from around the globe. This shows the true diversity of our client base and participants, and is a strong way to reinforce the role of the academy as the central transmission station for the GAC spirit.

A separate forum for discussion between GCA and its GLOs proved to share some further interesting ideas which were of significant value. GLOs pictured (below) from left to right are Clara Agah (Nigeria), Thanaa Adbelkarim (Egypt), Helena Cuenat (3PL Dubai) and Scarlett Yang (China).

Members of the May Quarter GBM held in Dubai

GLO's in Action

"I find that if I visit people at their work stations and walk them through the LMS, step-by-step, showing them how things work, that they get a personal and interactive introduction to how wonderful the system can be. After the first introduction, I personally call and follow up to see if they are having any difficulties, and if so, I return to help them through." GLO Clara Agah, GAC Nigeria

"I've created a guide for users in Chinese that answers the commonly asked questions and walks them through using the LMS. This starts the experience off on a positive note, giving them the tools they need to get comfortable and eventually master the system." GLO Scarlett Yang, GAC Shanghai

People have busy lives, but they are willing to make time to learn if you make the time to teach them. That's the best part about being a GLO, teaching and working with people who are enthusiastic about their courses." GLO Thanaa Abdelkarim, GAC Egypt

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Profile: Sarah Brassington - IGW Facilitator

Sarah Brassington, IGW facilitator Originally from Manchester in England, Sarah indulged her love of travelling as soon as she completed her formal education in 1991 and has since spent more time abroad than back in her native UK.

On leaving England, Sarah immediately headed for Alexandria in Egypt where she took up a teaching position in a city that was, coincidentally, one of the world's educational birthplaces. During this seven-year stint, Sarah met her husband, Magnus, with whom she continued her international journey, subsequently living and working in both India and Sweden.

Sarah's association with GAC began in 2001 when Magnus joined the Group. After being based in Lagos, Nigeria for three years, they moved to their current location in Abu Dhabi (Ruwais).

Sarah is looking forward to her role as an Introduction to the GAC World (IGW) facilitator for GCA, which will give her the opportunity of becoming a more active participant in the Group, and she's delighted at the prospect of meeting and interacting with GAC personnel from around the world.

Sarah's day begins with a dawn wakeup call by her devoted Labrador, Max, who insists on a daily outdoor trek. Sarah also enjoys reading, writing, squash and golf.

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Participant Profile: IGW Downunder

Guy Heazlewood of GCA Australia in his office in Townsville I think one of the best things about the Introduction to the GAC World (IGW) course is the way it compels us to interact with GAC staff right around the globe. I think it's fantastic to be able to correspond with colleagues doing similar jobs in very different geographical locations and surroundings. I find it also helps to put things into perspective regarding the size of the GAC Group and the myriad ways in which we can coordinate our resources to service our clients' needs. Having previously worked for predominantly local (Australia based) shipping agencies, I feel the potential for GAC in providing unparalleled serviceability cannot be underestimated

Apart from the obvious business-related opportunities the IGW course offers, it has also inspired me on a personal level to travel overseas and check out some of the places I've learned about. Six months ago I hadn't ever considered going to Dubai for a look - but now I'd go tomorrow if the opportunity arose! The same applies to Singapore and other SE Asian countries - once you've had the opportunity to establish friendships (as well as working relationships) with colleagues in these regions it would be great to meet them face-to-face, experience their surroundings and see how the shipping world operates in other regions, particularly in major ports like Singapore, Hong Kong and Rotterdam.

Regarding day-to-day business activities, I think it's good to be able to see outside your own little box. I have plenty to learn in my current role and this will surely come with time and experience, but thanks to the IGW course I am also learning about the options GAC has to offer when servicing our principal needs - not just in Townsville or on the Australian coast - but anywhere! The ability to help coordinate our clients' requirements on a global scale is what gives us the edge over the competition, something I'm sure we will utilise more and more in our increasingly global environment.

Another main strength of the IGW course is how it introduces new staff (like me) to GAC culture and explains how that feature has evolved over the years. We are given an insight into the experiences of our founders along with the expectations and belief systems which combine to form the foundations of the GAC Group. As I see it, we are a fiercely competitive industry leader, while at the same time a loyal and understanding 'family' organisation. All levels of management exude an attitude of cooperation and understanding with an 'open door' approach. Assistance and mentoring is readily available at any time. To me this attitude is truly extraordinary and great to be a part of.

Once I have completed (and hopefully passed!) the IGW course, I would like to continue my studies with the GAC Academy. I am also currently working through the International Computer Driving License course and after that I would like to focus on the logistical side of our business. I find the many and varied aspects of logistical management very interesting. Who knows - with the growing need for experienced operators in the management of logistics and supply-chain activities on a global scale, if I play my cards right this may be something I can offer in the future.

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Courses: Sales Strategy - Logistics (SSL)

the Sales Strategy - Logistics logo (SSL) For some people it might be easier to imagine the GAC World as an extension of your own cultural environment, but it isn't. The GAC World spans an overwhelming number of cultures and provides a point of contact (or business) in each of these localities. The reach of our client portfolio is as much a reflection of our ability to provide strong competitive maritime and logistics solutions as a statement about the quality of our marketing.

Ultimately we are all in the business of selling GAC logistics services, from the small discussion on a telephone or radio to the points of contact with marketing and sales personnel. At each point in that chain of contact we have the ability, or at least the opportunity, to develop a relationship with the person or business we interact with and to enhance the value of our products. The more invested clients become with our organisation the more likely they will continue the relationship. Simply, any given moment at any point in the value chain can make or break a client relationship. Therefore, a critical point of business involves sales and marketing.

Taking this on board, real selling is a lot more than a single action at the point of sale and the receipt of debits due. It includes an understanding of the true value to the client which transcends the product. For GAC sales professionals and business management personnel our Sales Strategy - Logistics (SSL) course focuses on the art of industrial selling. It teaches the participants how to identify and approach new customers, how to gauge the customer's requirements, and how to match your products to those requirements so the customer receives the right solution for their individual needs. Finally, we provide instruction on the process of closing the deal and making the sale.

Sales professionals and business management personnel provide a key service to the GAC World through direct conversion from potential contacts through to established clients. Understanding the true value of our products from the client perspective is a critical skill set for successful sales and marketing activities.

Sales Strategy - Logistics (SSL) is available to GAC sales professionals and business development personnel as a two day workshop. The next SSL course will be run in Kuala Lumpur from June 2 - 3, 2008 and in London from June 5 - 6, 2008. For more information contact Rehan Naeem , Business Development Manager - GAC Corporate Academy.

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Courses: Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI)

thelogo for Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI) The need to communicate effectively in business should never be underestimated. To some people communication might appear to be a trivial process in their day to day consumption of a busy working life where telephones ring and word processors push out documentation at a madding pace. If anything, our globalised industry is at the forefront of this communication challenge. We have more to gain and much more to lose from potential miscommunication than most other enterprises. Effective communication is a skill that can serve you throughout your career and provide lasting financial benefits through the attainment of career goals.

Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI) is aimed directly at our business reality. We operate on information overload practically every day of our working careers answering email and correspondence, writing reports, and sending faxes around the globe. For the GAC World employee the challenges are magnified due to our multicultural workforce and a high proportion of employees possessing English as a second language. In some ways diversity is an unarguable benefit to the GAC World but in others it poses one major challenge - how do we effectively maintain a global organisation with a measured bar of communication excellence?

The BCI course will take you through the basics of written communication skills including general grammar, writing in the context of your audience, and correct punctuation. It will help you understand the way written structures such as sentences are put together correctly for easy comprehension. You will learn about the accepted standards and style guidelines within the GAC World, which can vary between countries and individual organisations. And finally, you will learn how to effectively use email to its greatest potential.

When you consider that most of the communication meaning in a conversation is taken from facial gestures and non-verbal input then it is clearly a challenge to maintain strong communication through the written word. Knowing when and how to use written communication can be one of the most critical elements that effect your business success or failure. It provides you with the ability to create high quality professional documentation, to maintain business relationships through stressful circumstances and to provide services required by the client without misunderstanding their needs.

Business Communication in the Information Age (BCI) is available through our state-of-the-art Learning Management System (LMS) in the third quarter, starting on 14 July, 2008. For more information contact Rehan Naeem , Business Development Manager - GAC Corporate Academy.

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Career Coach: Take the Career you Deserve

Are you activated? Are you participating? Each of us will answer these two questions according to our own criteria but underneath each will be aware, on a sliding scale of one to ten, the true level of activation. Are you mildly activated or extremely activated? And are you activated enough to take the career you deserve?

These questions are related to a relatively recent article by Seth Godin, a successful entrepreneur and author, in which he asked - are you a a getter or a taker? By Seth's definition a getter is someone who goes to work every day and gets the career that is given to them by their employer. A getter is someone who, when they attend courses, simply does the amount required and has little motivation to take it further. A getter is someone who is probably quite happy with the career they're given. They are not particularly activated or participating beyond the expected level of adequacy.

But for some people there is more to a career; you have the option to be a taker. By taker it does not mean that you become narcissistic and push yourself forward at all costs. A taker is simply someone who is extremely activated and who is participating in their career to the fullest. A taker goes to a course and asks the facilitator extra questions and tends to read a little more than the others. A taker does not just go to work and get the career handed to them on a plate, either. They engage with their career and look for opportunities to make more of it. They tend to do projects in their own time and are prepared to step into the breach at the first opportunity. It could be suggested that one personality trait of the taker is an aspiration to be the best and to work with the best at their given profession.

To some extent asking yourself whether you are a giver or a taker in this context might be confronting. It could be rephrased a number of ways: are you interested, are you ambitious? The amount you are actively participating in your career will heavily impact the number of opportunities you receive and your success in achieving outcomes. This is an essential part of the continuous learning philosophy which is aimed at enriching your life and career. The GCA exists to serve this need.

In the global workforce there will always be room for activated professionals.

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Career Coach: Be an Active Listener

several of the proposed logos pushed forward for consideration in the redesign process

Understanding the other person is a fundamental requirement for effective communication. Yet many people are too busy thinking about their responses and talking at the other person, whether it's a family member or a business associate, without actually listening to hear what is really being communicated. It's no wonder so much misunderstanding gets in the way of our relationships and commercial practice. But there is a technique that, if you're aware and willing to give it a try, can dramatically improve your interpersonal communication skills. It's called Active Listening.

The goal of active listening is to play an active part in the listening process. Much like Morse Code, our own forms of language are encoding systems. In communication terms, the communication sender forms a message which is encoded into words and sentences. This is transmitted by our voice to the receiver who decodes the message, decides on a reasonable feedback to the message, and encodes that response into words and sentences and transmits the encoded response back to the original sender. Each side of the communication requires a complex mental activity to decode and interpret what the other person just said. Yet we somehow imagine this as a simple transparent step, when in reality we are processing and decoding massive amounts of information from the simplest interaction with other people. The first step of active listening is just to accept that communication is a complicated task.

Active listening requires us to suspend our assumptions and internal evaluation of what the other person is trying to say until they have finished. We don't interrupt and we do our utmost to stay interested in the conversation. It's critical not to interrupt because that creates incomplete messages. We jump to our own assumptions before hearing the entire message.

The second step, after suspending our internal evaluation and maintaining interest, is to evaluate what the other person was trying to say. We need to empathise and appreciate the context of the person we are talking to, for example they may be stressed or emotional. We need to understand the message from the other person's point of view and appreciate that we listen three times faster than we speak. That time needs to be spent organising the information in our own mind before responding.

In the third step of active listening we maintain eye contact and provide ongoing responses such as Yes, or OK, to show we are still engaged with the conversation. And, after they finish their message, we repeat it back in a sentence like "Do you mean that..."? Or, "If I understand you correctly...".

This method of listening enhances your ability to understand the actual message to its richest value. In real terms, active listening is a career skill which applies from line work to management. Being able to master it will enhance your career.

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