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Dr Mark de Rond shares his Camp Bastion experience


Mark de Rond at Camp BastionDr Mark de Rond, Reader in Strategy & Organisation at Cambridge Judge Business School, will be speaking about life in the world’s busiest war hospital, as part of the Darwin College Lecture series. His talk is entitled “Life in Conflict”.

Taking place on Friday 17 February at Lady Mitchell Hall, Dr de Rond will talk publicly for the first time about his fieldwork with deployed military surgical teams in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where he witnessed life in conflict firsthand.

He will argue that: the sources of conflict are not restricted to a hospital’s perimeters, but endemic to teams of high performance organisations. These sources of conflict are ever present, and occasioned by the paradoxes of life at any frontier: the co-existence of meaningfulness and yet futility, cooperation and yet rivalry too, selflessness and selfishness, trust and vigilance, adrenaline-fuelled pleasure and guilt. These paradoxes cannot generally be reconciled – they are inevitable as well as necessary. But they must be carefully managed so as to preserve a degree of physiological safety and, ultimately, personal and patient welfare.

Dr de Rond studies teams of high performers by living with them under similar conditions. His first book on drug discovery collaborations received the 2005 George R. Terry Book Award from the Academy of Management, making him the youngest ever recipient. His second book, based on his observations of the Cambridge University Boat Race squad, was simultaneously selected by the Financial Times as one of the 12 Best Business Books of 2008 and by BBC Sport as one of 10 Best Sporting Reads of 2008. His third book is due to be published by Harvard in July 2012.