SPEAR17 British Army Reserve Antarctic Expedition 2016
“SPEAR17 was a bold and ambitious expedition to attempt a 1,100 mile unsupported traverse of Antarctica via the South Pole. One of its key aims was to take a young inexperienced team from a zero skills start point and mould, train and prepare them over a 2 year period to the point where they could safely attempt this journey. Thus inspiring the next generation of polar explorers.
Successful team dynamics are an essential part of any expedition, and non-more so than a long-range polar expedition. The team was primarily made up of young, inexperienced Army Reservists. Sandy from Peak Dynamics assessed both the individual attributes of each man, and the ways in which we all worked together. An outwardly simple online questionnaire identified strengths and weaknesses of the individuals to a remarkably accurate degree. The detailed individual profiling gave everyone – and especially the expedition leader – a greater understanding of the challenges each would face in Antarctica.
A very thorough team training session also demonstrated that team decisions are almost always better than those made by individuals alone. It cemented an already strong team. It was impressed upon the team the importance of decision-making in the latter half of the journey, when the hard work might have been considered to be done, a time of greatest risk of poor decision-making and incident. Awareness of this issue was helpful to the team on the second leg of their journey.
From a leaders perspective the training was hugely beneficial in allowing me to better understand my team, how they thought and interacted. Armed with this knowledge I was able to ensure I made them feel valued and fully involved in the decision making process.
Sandy was very personally invested in the project and went out of his way to support the team with messages and advice while we were on the expedition. For any team – be they a business group, an expedition or a sports team, Peak Dynamics can provide worthwhile insight which will aid performance and decision-making and enhance the capabilities of any group of people aiming towards a common goal.”
Lou Rudd, Leader of the SPEAR17 Antarctic Expedition