Functional Friction

During a regular staff meeting it appeared that there was a difference of opinion between two departments. A colleague was observing this exchange of arguments and commented that “it is productive to have functional friction.”

Something to ponder.

As I have posted before encouraging healthy conflict in the management team is a good thing. Carrying that thought further, having constructive friction among different functions in your company might also be a good thing.

Functional friction, if channeled correctly, brings about favorable competition among departments to be the best in what they do. It also enables constructive criticism from fellow functions to allow improvement in processes not only for the department, but also the company.

Entrepreneurs need to manage functional friction for positive change in their organizations.

Ravi Patel


Encourage Healthy Conflict

Entrepreneurs are often used to acting decisively, but often make their decisions alone without differing viewpoints. This works while the company is in the infancy stage, but prudent, consistent management requires input from various points of view before arriving at decisions.

Encouraging healthy conflict in your organization where diverse opinions and alternatives are sought is a recipe for long term success. Optimal decisions are made when multiple facets of an issue are considered by analyzing pros and cons. Surrounding yourself with people who mostly say “yes” to the Entrepreneur/CEO is not a healthy situation.

Productive conflict is healthy and beneficial for soliciting diverse thinking on issues. Arriving at decisions after considering all sides is optimal for a growing organization. Obviously, once the decision is made everyone needs to be aligned behind the decision. Conflict then is not healthy.

Ravi Patel