Management Design: Managing People and Organizations in Turbulent Times [new Paperback Edition]
“When people experience flow, the state where they apply their full talent and perform at their peak, their mind is highly focused. They trust their own capabilities and do things out of their own will. Sports provide a playing field where people can stretch their potential and test the limits. As a result, they experience flow more often.
Climbing a mountain is one of these sports where people constantly search for their flow zone – the perfect match of challenges and skills. Imagine safely climbing a 1’000 meter altitude difference in five hours and still enjoying the effort. Experienced skiers know that in order to enjoy the day, much of the effort goes into the preparation of the tour. There are many choices like the weather, the equipment, the route, the team, the timing that influence the experience. Thoughtful tour guides know they have to create an environment where the team can experience the flow. This is relatively easy when the weather is nice, when the team is ready, and when there are no surprises. But more than not, the weather changes, equipment breaks, obstacles are in the way -all things that alter the perfect timing and experience
of the tour. In such situatíons, teams need speed, agility and resilience to successfully master its challenges.
Work in organizations resembles much like performing a ski tour. It requires preparation and an environment where the entire team can perform and apply its talent. ln a turbulent environment, it is important that teams have well-developed capabilities for a high ability to act. They make decisions fast, they anticipate change, react flexibly, implement with rigor, and learn as they go. In such organizations, management has a design that helps people cope with a turbulent environment.”