Cute little article!
Running a multinational airline, says Cathay Pacific CEO Tony Tyler, is a little like playing rugby. It might look like a group of "large and rather ugly men running around a muddy field," he says, but when they work together, it's a thing of beauty. "For the team to win, every player has to do their job well."
That team ethic has helped the Hong Kong-based airline please both passengers and shareholders. Cathay's profit so far this year has surged 55%, built largely on a reputation for excellent service on international long-haul flights. Cathay isn't immune, however, from high fuel costs and competitive pricing. "All airlines are under pressure to reduce their cost base," Tyler says. But rather than relying on slashing amenities, as many airlines have done, Cathay has focused on "increasing the productivity of our people," he says. That means embracing the unabashedly corny team-building exercises that have fallen far out of fashion in the rest of the corporate world.
It's the only way to get Cathay's 25,000 employees working in harmony.