Ivar Kroghrud spent six years as an officer in the Norwegian navy during the 1990s and every August he found himself among strangers.
Military service is compulsory in Norway, and each year Kroghrud would get an entirely new batch of recruits. By working long hours together on relatively small patrol boats, the crew would get to know each other quickly, learning each other’s traits and quirks and the best ways to work together. Later, he went into the business world and he found that it was completely the opposite.
In 2000, Kroghrud, who lives in Oslo, founded online survey and data company QuestBack, and was struck by how hard it was to get to know his colleagues. Within the next decade, the company had grown to more than 300 employees – so many that he never learned some of their names, let alone their personalities.