New man on the job

Jan 10 2014
Claus Winter Graugaard


In November 2013, Mr. Claus Winter Graugaard joined Lauritzen Kosan in a position of Vice President and Head of Fleet Management.

He holds a B.Sc. in Naval Architecture from the Technical University of Denmark/University of Strathclyde, UK and his previous experience includes various positions with Det Norske Veritas in Denmark, Canada and Croatia as well as Carl Bro Marine, part of Grontmij, one of Europe’s largest engineering consultancies.

Claus comes from a position as head of customer service and business development at Det Norske Veritas in Denmark and brings a strong technical and customer oriented profile with him.

To pick his brain we have asked Claus Winter Graugaard a few questions.

Coming from the marine classification industry, what are the strengths that you bring with you?
“I’ve been privileged working with different companies at all levels facilitating practical matters, complex projects, innovation and strategy. This has given me a unique insight and knowledge of different organisational dynamics, business processes and systems within many shipping segments. So you could say that one of my strengths is a diversified insight from the maritime and the oil and gas industry which naturally enables different perspectives.”

How will your background as head of customer service and business development come into play in your new position?
“I have a strong technical background combined with a broad insight to the shipping business. During the past years this has been strengthened with business development skills, strategy and knowledge of innovation processes.

Coming from the classification industry you could say I might not be a traditional first choice for this position. However, considering the new reality and complexity of shipping new dimensions and views are needed and hence I hope to bring this edge to my new position. Lauritzen Kosan’s technical organisation is highly qualified with specialized and experienced employees and my job will be to draw the bigger lines and ensure that we utilize our resources and competences in the most optimal way.

The shipping industry is rapidly changing thus new ideas and innovation are key components for continued business development and a crucial part of business development is the ability to engage and develop strong partnerships that creates mutual benefits – not just with external partners but also internally. To fully grasp these opportunities you need to have an open organisation that allows and encourages knowledge transfer and I will definitely be drawing on my experience within this field in my new position.”

As a newcomer how will you describe the organisational culture within Lauritzen Kosan?
“For me it has really been an exciting change as I’ve entered an organisation that operates in one of the most demanding segments within shipping. It is a hands-on operational organizational culture with high complexity in the daily operations and any challenges are solved at a high pace. This obviously calls for a dynamic culture that includes short decision-making processes otherwise you loose your ticket to trade. This is a working environment that I find very inspiring and certainly challenging.”

How will you describe your leadership approach?
“I’m open and straight forward. I listen and I’m humble when meeting other perspectives and ideas from my peers and employees. What characterizes me the most is probably that I’m extremely curious as I believe this is the shortest way to fruitful collaboration and I expect the same curiosity from my team.

Having my roots in the consultancy business I naturally have a strong emphasis on performance. I regard a performance culture as a natural and powerful way of moving an organisation. A high performance team approach is essential to remain a world leading shipping company.”

Can you identify yourself with the Lauritzen Group’s core values?
“I can definitely identify myself with the Group’s core values – in particular the core value of respect is very important for me, as I see diversity and many different cultures working together as value adding in the daily problem solving and hence respect for one another is essential. In addition, team spirit is important in linking the sea and shore side of the business, as we are completely dependent on each other to serve of customers the best possible way. Also entrepreneurship is important since thinking out of the box motivates me – I guess that is an element in stimulating a curious mind. Together we create – is a strong personal believe that I together with my team will work intensively with going forward.”

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