I recently read an article entitled “Getting tensions Right” that I shared with a few colleagues as finding the balance between perceived ‘tension’ and ‘encouragement’ is a very interesting topic for debate.
What struck me when I read the article was how it summarised many of the stategic tensions that companies face, where the pusuit of one objective has to be at the sacrifice of the other, as follows;
- Profitability versus Growth.
- Short Term versus Long Term view.
- The whole of the organisation or offering versus the parts.
I have already posted on the importance of finding solutions to these ordinarily opposing forces for competitive advantage. The article claims: “The sweet spot is the dynamic of being productively tense — where the fights are primarily about he right performance tensions, where the fights are conducted in the right way, and where there is sufficient alignment to make dissent and disagreement work in favor of better decision making, faster learning, and more effective solutions.”
Ask yourself the following questions about your top team:
- How much time in your boardroom and with your top team is going toward the right tensions?
- How well are performance tensions being addressed by your strategy?
- How well do dissent, different views, and competing ideas surface, get discussed, and get productively decided?
- How good is your board’s or team’s alignment? Is it strong enough and focused enough to support right fights fought right?