Team building aboard Polaris. A deeper perspective.

In an earlier article, we referred to different ‘levels’ of team building, placing our program in the first and simplest level. Now, having had our flagship Polaris in operation for a full season we can elaborate about what that means for Norsvald’s team building clients.

Clients taking part in one of our programs rotate through different roles and individuals’ actions — listening, doing, solving problems and supporting others — in context, encourage actual teamwork.

By the day’s end, most client teams show themselves nearly capable of running the ship themselves. Back ashore, we encourage them to think about how to apply what they’ve learned. Reflecting on their day helps clients draw abstract lessons from the experience.


Academics, educators and practitioners understand the effectiveness of different learning models (and how to measure outcomes) applied to outdoor adventure and team building programs.  One model assumes that team activities undertaken in dramatic settings (e.g being in the Mountains) are enough by themselves to subconsciously change participants’ mindsets and behavior back at the office. A different model suggests that “deeper” work supported through framing,  facilitation and digging into problems is needed to get the best results. Practitioners frequently start before any activities take place by asking clients about what is holding back the clients' teams or how to help a team that is experiencing “change”. 

We can arrange for Norsvald’s team building programs to be un-facilitated or facilitated through our network of coaches and trainers. 


Irrespective of the particular model chosen, the discussion and use of metaphors in the context of the learning environment and the clients’ business situation is fairly common, for example: frequently tangled ropes could come to symbolize dysfunctional work processes. Seafaring is riddled with metaphors and we shamelessly exploit them in our programs! 

At Norsvald, our clients harness their teams’ “power from within” as in “Were all in the same boat !” 


It made me feel really good because I felt like I was actually strong in front of my co-workers

- DA

For many, the experience Norsvald’s Team building at Sea, akin to being in the Mountains, gives clients a chance to forge memorable experiences for themselves which outlast the trip back to the office and can be accomplished in a day or less.  For clients that wish to go further, a facilitated program can be part of a deeper exercise for the team with the ability to do follow-up work elsewhere.