Don’t Crack Under Pressure Part II: Managing Tension

May 10, 2016
Perry Puccetti


Tension… “The state of being stretched tight”, “the act of stretching or straining”, or, “a balanced relation between strongly opposing elements.”

Symptom… “A sign of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable situation”, “a departure from normal function.”

As described in my previous post Don’t Crack Under Pressure Part I: A Business Diagnostic, a business’ ability to make money is directly influenced by a number of external pressures (ecosystem, enterprise and business unit), each creating a cause and effect relationship on the business as an entity, at each level of the business, and on each of us as individuals. 

This blog focuses on the tension existing between brand, technology and talent.

The reality is that every leader and every company struggles in managing the day-to-day tension between brand, technology and talent. This tension is constantly changing and evolving as the cause and effect relationship between the business environment and the business changes… Do the needs of the organization outweigh those of the individual business units? Can technology help increase performance and reduce costs? How do you attract and retain talent? And by doing so, increase competitive advantage? Is investing in the future and focusing on today’s results mutually exclusive?

Yes, we all want to be able to improve brand without negatively impacting the business units.

Yes, we all want to reap the benefits of investing in emerging technologies.

Yes, we all want to leverage the power of the individual.

When this tension gets out of balance, problems begin manifesting themselves as symptoms, and, because the tension between brand, technology and talent is constantly changing, it can be difficult to distinguish cause and effect, and isolate which symptom is associated with which tension.

For example, does your business suffer from poor reputation, perception, and eroding market share? These are symptoms of a failing brand. Do you have obsolete products/services, outdated technology or an inability to support your customers and employees? These are symptoms that your technology is lacking. Or, are you experiencing employee turnover in your key skill areas, an inability to attract and retain top talent, and/or have an uncertain future? These are symptoms of poor talent.

So, how to successfully manage tension? Business leaders must conduct a careful diagnosis – ensuring that the right symptom is associated with the right tension. 

The inherent strength of using an approach such as the Business Diagnostic does just that, helping business leaders to understand the cause and effect relationships between the various pressures that businesses face (ecosystem, enterprise and business unit), how these pressures manifest themselves as related to the tensions that exist between brand, technology, and talent, and the various symptoms that serve as leading indicators requiring action to be taken.

Once a successful diagnosis is accomplished, solutions can then be put in motion.

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