CFO Insights

Fostering friction to accelerate performance

An environment that fosters friction is most likely to realise an acceleration in performance. As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so is the case when there is a group of leaders with conflicting perspectives. Within this group lies the power to co-create perspectives far greater than any one of the individual group members. The right kind of friction can help groups reimagine traditional assumptions and test boundaries. Individuals are stretched beyond their default approaches to problem solving.

Through the practice of cultivating friction, the platform is set for the creation of new knowledge. However, in order for this to happen, the groups diversity needs to be exhausted as well as external resources connected to the group.

This issue of CFO Insights looks at the practice of cultivating friction and the deliberate steps CFOs and other leaders should consider, in order to foster it.

A range of factors influences diverse groups, including experiences and rules. Whilst the desire for harmony may be strong, productive friction may be stifled. For a perfect blend of friction, the group needs to consider the following:

Energy over harmony – Going along to get along

Challenge and discussion over approval – Output is similar to the input

Transparent thinking – Upping in the ante by soliciting external commentary

Thinking made tangible – Stirring up additional friction

As a group’s members increasingly employ tensions and disagreements to reach better solutions, they can help create a virtuous cycle of more honest and forthcoming challenges. Click here to read on or contact John Brodie for more information.

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