The White-water Rapids Metaphor

White-water rapids metaphor takes into consideration the fact that environments are both uncertain and dynamic. The stability and predictability of the calm waters do not exist. Many of today’s managers never get out of the rapids. They are facing constant change, bordering on chaos. Many of today’s managers are being forced to play a game that they have never played before that is governed by rules created as the game progresses.

White-water rapids metaphor is not merely an overstatement because many of today’s managers are facing it. Managers who are working for companies in industries like computer software and women’s fashion have long confronted with a world of white-water rapids.

The Calm Waters Metaphor

The calm waters metaphor has been dominating the thinking of managers and academics until very recently. The best way to illustrate the prevailing model for handling change in calm waters is by using Kurt Lewin’s three-step description of change process. According to Kurt Lewin, unfreezing the status quo, changing to a new state, and refreezing the new change to make it permanent are needed for a successful change. The status quo can be considered as an equilibrium state, and unfreezing is required to move from this equilibrium. There are three ways to achieve this:

-          The driving forces that direct behavior away from the status quo can be increased.
-          The restraining forces that hinder movement from the existing equilibrium can be decreased.
-          The two approaches above can be combined.

The Stages of Team Development

Team development is actually a dynamic process because most teams are always in a continual state of change and they never reach stability. However, there is a general pattern to most team’s evolution. There are five stages of team development. The five stages are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is an assortment of non-cognitive skills, capabilities, and competencies that influence a person’s ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures. Several studies find that Emotional Intelligence may have an important role in job performance.

Emotional Intelligence is composed of five dimensions:

The Big-five Model of Personality

The Big-five Model of Personality is a five-factor model of personality that includes extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience.

1. Extroversion describes the degree to which a person is sociable, talkative, and assertive.
2. Agreeableness describes the degree to which a person is good-natured, cooperative, and trusting.