The Three Tensions: Winning the Struggle to Perform Without Compromise / Edition 1

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Profitability or growth? Results today or tomorrow? More synergy orbetter stand-alone performance? Ask managers which they want andmost will tell you both. But they will also tell you that moreprogress on one front usually comes with less progress on theother. It's like squeezing a balloon in one place only to find thatit expands elsewhere.

Based on four decades of experience working with some of theworld's best-known companies, Dominic Dodd and Ken Favaro explorethe three tensions every company faces and how to overcome them.They draw on groundbreaking research into the 20-year performanceof more than 1,000 companies and on in-depth discussions with 20chairmen and CEOs of corporations such as Alcan, Barclays, BP,Cadbury Schweppes, Cardinal Health, Dow Jones, Gillette, Reuters,Roche, Textron, and Xerox.

The authors put forward a radical new way to assess companyperformance: batting average—a measure of how often competingobjectives are achieved at the same time. They show how thismatters more than any other single measure of operatingperformance. And they explain how you can raise your battingaverage to unlock better performance.

Managers in any type of organization, at any level, will findThe Three Tensions an invaluable source of new ideas andpractical advice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Every executive will immediately connect with the themes of thisimportant new management book: the conflict between profitabilityand growth, the demands of the short term and the long term, theinevitable incompatibility of centralization and decentralization.But in The Three Tensions (Jossey-Bass), consultants DominicDodd and Ken Favaro expose the false choices executives make inresolving these issues and the traps and cycles they fall into whenthey do. In many ways, this is a difficult book because of thestylized framework and vocabulary that the authors have created,and the absence of a single overarching idea such as "excellence"or "reengineering." But the essential insight — that the solutionto these "tensions" lies not in "balance" or "compromise" but in arelentless focus on customer benefit, sustainable earnings andcultural norms — has the advantage of being both original andwise. 
—S.P. (Washington Post, February 25, 2007)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787987794
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Series: J-B US non-Franchise Leadership Series, #41
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

The authors are from Marakon Associates, called by Fortunemagazine "the best-kept secret in consulting" and by TheEconomist "a consultancy that has advised some of the world'smost consistently successful companies."

Dominic Dodd is a senior advisor of Marakon Associates.Since joining the firm in 1989, he has been a managing partner andMarakon's worldwide director of marketing and communications. Helives in London.

Ken Favaro is co-chairman of Marakon Associates. In his22 years with the firm, he has been regional managing partner forEurope and has served two terms as Marakon's chief executive. Helives in New York.
For more information about the book or to contact the authors,please visit

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Table of Contents



1 The Corporate Cycle.

2 Profitability vs. Growth.

3 Today vs. Tomorrow.

4 Whole vs. Parts.

5 Breaking the Corporate Cycle.

6 The Next Big Thing.

Appendix A: Market Value and Batting Average.

Appendix B: Our Research Methodology.


Selected Reading.


About the Authors.


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