strategy+business is published by PwC Strategy& LLC.
or, sign in with:
strategy and business
 / Autumn 2010 / Issue 60(originally published by Booz & Company)


Getting Tensions Right

The sweet spot is the dynamic of being productively tense — where the fights are primarily about the 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.

Every CEO must master the management of tensions, raising and lowering them. This is one of the most important tools a top leader can use to realize a company’s and team’s true potential. Chances are, there is at least one thing your team is fighting about that’s not worth the effort, and one thing the team has let pass that needs to be addressed now.

Reprint No. 10301

Author Profiles:

  • Ken Favaro is a senior partner with Booz & Company based in New York. He leads the firm’s work in enterprise strategy and finance.
  • Saj-nicole Joni is a business strategist and confidential advisor to CEOs and their top executives around the globe. She is the founder and CEO of Cambridge International Group.
  • Examples in this article were drawn from The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value, by Saj-nicole Joni and Damon Beyer (HarperBusiness, 2010), and The Three Tensions: Winning the Struggle to Perform without Compromise, by Dominic Dodd and Ken Favaro (Jossey-Bass, 2007).
Follow Us 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube RSS strategy+business Digital and Mobile products App Store


Sign up to receive s+b newsletters and get a FREE Strategy eBook

You will initially receive up to two newsletters/week. You can unsubscribe from any newsletter by using the link found in each newsletter.