One week at Linköping site

Waking up at 3.30 AM is not my thing and probably never will be, but this morning was not like any other morning because I knew that in just a few hours I would be in Linköping, meeting up with the rest of the graduate group! It had been almost three months since all eight of us met last time so this is a moment I’ve really been looking forward to!

Stepping into the meeting room, we had a hunch what the coming week’s activities would be, but I didn’t realise it meant I would be the front-seat pilot of a Gripen E simulator, role-playing a bully in a conflict management scenario or kicking my colleagues asses in bull-riding. The week was full of activities from low to high, morning to night.

Being at the Linköping site of Saab, it’s inevitable going to have prime focus on particularly one of Saab’s products – the Gripen. So, Monday morning started with a walkthrough in the assembly line together with Head of Production that explained the complexity of the process, we were all amazed! This was then followed up by a presentation of how Saab went about with the sales of Gripen to Brazil, which is one of Sweden’s largest single export in history.

Tuesday included several inspiring presentations about how Saab works with corporate responsibility, industrial cooperation and strategy but the highlight of the day was when we had a photoshoot with the whole group and the cameraman said “now talk and laugh naturally”. Let me tell you, it was anything but natural. But because the situation was so weird and staged with a camera up our faces, everything was incredibly funny in a way that is hard to explain.

The same night Cajsa, being native Linköping resident, took us out to pentathlon, including laser-tag, bull riding and other very competitive sport activities. These are the times when you realise how homogenous our group is, where loosing is not an option, however, the champ of the night with more kill points than anyone else in laser-tag history was Lukas, and he made sure we got to hear it dozens of times the rest of the week.

Wednesday was the day when we really were pushed out of our comfort zone with a leadership consultant and an actress. Everything from spontaneous presentations to role-playing scenarios where the intention was to confuse our creative/emotional part with the logical/rational part of the brain to exaggerating emotions while counting numbers out loud, going from personal to opportunistic to dramatic. The whole point of these exercises were to get a better understanding of how the audience perceive a presenter depending on how he/she acts and uses the tone of the voice.

The exercise was perfect practise for our big presentation we had the day after in front of the entire group management of Business Area Dynamics during their talent day. The presentation went extraordinary well and I’m really proud of the result the whole group created. That night we celebrated with a good dose of sparkling.

Friday was another day full of role-playing with focus on conflict management where we played scenarios of how to deal with employees of different character as a leader. These activities concluded this team week and we all parted our ways to our home departments, preparing for the coming week in Gothenburg and Stockholm together. But that’s a story for another time!

Bye bye, Adrian de Roos