Teambuilding, Corny? Not to Cathay Pacific

October 24, 2007, 12:58 PM EDT

This week's Time magazine takes a look at the aggressive teambuilding efforts of Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific. (Why? Cathay's profit is up 55 percent so far this year, largely due to a reputation for excellent service on long-haul international flights, the newsmagazine says, and executives say they've been focusing on improving staff productivity.)

From Time's story: “Cathay has tried to turn its global training headquarters near Hong Kong International Airport into a temple of team spirit. Employees can wander into classes for yoga and belly-dancing and get a drink at Dhakota's, the company bar. 'It's like a big playground,' says Steve Lawrence, one of Cathay's training and development managers. The rooftop patio hosts just about every hokey team-building exercise ever invented. Trainees regularly participate in 100-person lap sits, in which each person sits on the next one's knees, forming a circle while trying mightily to stay balanced. There are blindfolded 'trust walks' and, until recently, group-dancing first thing in the morning. Sadly, Morning Boogie was phased out after the speaker system got blown away in a typhoon.”

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