Marathoner or 100-meter sprinter in Business?


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In Sports as well as in Business, competition challenges our capacity of reaction. That’s why focusing on choosing the right competitions for which we are best prepared is basic for our competitive advantage.

If you are a “long-distance runner” in business, this means profiting from your endurance capacity and complementing to solve your urgent conjunctural problems. On the other extreme, if you are “explosive” in your reactions, seizing your talent means taking advantage of your speed and strength in taking opportunities and complementing so that your actions are consistent in the long run. Seizing one’s talent implies identifying and training the strength and complementing one’s weakness. Then, as it’s been said by a famous athlete: “The more I train, the luckier I get”.

The way your muscles are contracted at the time of making an effort, using predominantly slow or fast fiber muscles, defines your predisposition to long-distance races (endurance) or short-distance races (speed). Even though everybody has both types of muscle fibers, recognizing the natural talent that is predominant is the key to seize that talent.

Which types of fibers do you predominantly use: slow twitch or fast twitch fibers?

Slow or Fast twitch fibers?

This distinction seems to influence how muscles respond to training and physical activity. Each fiber type is unique in its ability to contract in a certain way. A marathon runner uses predominantly slow switch fibers, while a 100-meter sprinter puts his fast twitch fibers to test in his competition.

Slow twitch fibers are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel for continuous, extended muscle contraction over a long period of time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue.

Fast twitch fibers, on the other hand, are much better at generating short bursts of strength or speed than slow twitch fibers. But they fatigue more quickly. They generally produce the same amount of force per contraction as slow muscles, but they are able to fire more rapidly. That’s why having more fast twitch fibers can be an asset to a sprinter since he needs to quickly generate a lot of force.

Maximal and Minimum Strategies: Power and Endurance

Those who use predominantly fast muscle fibers in an activity tend to be good at managing maximal strategies. They are fast at reacting to the environment and therefore generally good at seizing opportunities. Through their explosive reactions they seek to break new “records” or establish new breakthroughs.

When they do not succeed in complementing with structural actions that guarantee their minimal strategy, then the results of their efforts are merely incidental.
Under equilibrium conditions, they take threats as opportunities.

On the other hand, those that predominantly use slow muscle fibers tend to be good at managing minimum strategies, since they have a high level of endurance (resistance to fatigue) that makes them tolerate prolonged efforts.

When they are constant, they are “doers” whose deeds work with the precision of a “swiss watch”. They are predictable and use the less energy they can to achieve their objectives. They are good for building projects whose aim is to last over time.

When they are not complemented or do not seek to cross new barriers, their good management of the minimum strategy is turned against them and takes them to be stagnated.

Taking advantage of what one has is the first step for developing a competitive advantage. Knowing the natural predisposition for a discipline is, in business and in sports, crucial at the time of assessing results. It becomes evident that those that profit from what they have are the ones that can reach a higher goal. Then we come back to the beginning: “The more I train, the luckier I get.”

We invite you to be our guest at the Unicist Library to learn about “Unicist Business Architecture”: http://www.unicist.com

Diana Belohlavek
VP Global Markets
& Market Labs

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute is a pioneer in complexity science research. More than 4,000 ontological researches were developed since 1976 until July 2011 in the field of individual, institutional and social evolution, including the development of ontology based and business object driven solutions for businesses.

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