Grieg Group's Matt Duke in a suit.
Stories / April 05 2022

Grieg’s Matt Duke Says Love Will Overcome Fear in Green Transition

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Norwegian shipping group’s CEO makes the case for a culture change to drive decarbonisation.

Grieg Maritime Group’s chief executive Matt Duke has spoken of the need to “make it personal” in the quest to decarbonise shipping.

And the boss of the Norwegian shipowner and technology company believes managers everywhere need to love and respect their staff as they face the fear of
failing with new ideas.

Speaking at the Nor-Shipping shipping event in Norway, Duke showed a photo he took of the stunning life beneath the waters of a Norwegian fjord 45 minutes from his office.

In my opinion as a CEO you have to make it personal, you have to believe. Matthew Duke

“For me, it’s diving in the fjords of Norway because it’s worth saving,” the executive added.

Duke argues that companies have to think tactically and make sure the core business is healthy.

He sees three options for decarbonisation.

Slow-steaming he describes as “quite a defensive strategy” while retrofitting will be expensive, with uncertain results. And then there are new buildings.

But Duke focused his message on a change of culture, with the inclusion of staff from all backgrounds to provide different perspectives.

“We’ve taken some of the best people we have and given them space and time to try to find out how to solve these challenges,” he said.


Love is all you need?

Grieg is forging partnerships and new business models, while always keeping an eye on the economics of initiatives, Duke explained.

Getting out and influencing others is also important, the CEO believes.

“What’s your investment return that’s going to make it work?” he asked a hypothetical business partner.

“Let’s go away from 18% shall we? What about 9%, will you do it? Would you shareholders agree?” the CEO said.

Asked how to overcome the fear of failure among employees, he responded: “Love the people around you, respect them, try to understand their fears and try to appease them. Communicate, show purpose, listen to them.”


Article published in Tradewinds.

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