Be the first to like this
Original article from the Flevy business blog can be found here:
In my teens and twenties I was an avid hill-walker (hiker) and occasional mountaineer (ice axe, rope and crampons). Nowadays time, dodgy knees and lack of fitness limit my adventures, but my fascination with mountains and mountaineering history is undiminished. 18 months ago I was lucky enough to make my first trip to Nepal to see the awesome 8,000 metre Himalayan giants and I’m looking forward to returning, both to trek and in my capacity as a Trustee of a charity that supports schools in remote mountain areas there.
For me mountaineering analogies aptly describe the challenges of business. If you were on the organising committee or a team member setting out to climb Everest or, even more difficult and dangerous, the world’s No 2 peak, K2, would you:
• Select an expedition leader you didn’t trust, or one who was an egotistical bully who insisted on making all the decisions themselves without consultation?
• Select team members who couldn’t get on with each other? This is a frequent cause of mountaineering failures and sometimes tragedies.
• Fail to pick the strongest available team for the expedition due to petty politics and prejudices? This happened for example in the British expeditions to Everest in 1922 and 1924, with ultimately disastrous consequences.
• Fail to train and get fit?
• Take along team members who were manifestly unfit, for whatever reasons?
• Fail to consider and plan for reasonably predictable eventualities that could jeopardise the expedition or, more importantly, lives?
• Go at a time of year when the weather was guaranteed to be bad, or stay too long into the monsoon season to try to complete the climb?
• Fail to acclimatise once you were there? Altitude sickness, often caused by moving too fast and staying at high altitude too long, is a major issue.