Management lessons from the pinnacle of human endeavour
"Jennifer Chatman from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her co-authors studied records of more than 60 years of expeditions to the Nepalese Himalayas. It is a rich bank of information — about 40,000 climbers from some 80 countries. Unlike workplace teams, these groups had a clear goal: to reach their summit. They shared one objective and unambiguous measure of failure: the death of a team member.
By parsing this sometimes grim data set and combining it with teamwork experiments, the researchers found that a collective mindset helped diverse teams ignore differences, such as nationality, that were not relevant to their task. But when the collective spirit overrode vital individual differences of, say, experience, the result could be fatal. For example, teams that got into trouble at altitude and assumed that all members had the same expertise as their most knowledgeable climbers sometimes took risks that put lives in jeopardy."
Read the full article about Professor Jennifer Chatman's research on the Financial Times website.