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Avoid the pendulum swing when fixing problems

SVP of Product, Intercom

Paul Adams

@padday

At the 2017 Inside Intercom World Tour, I gave a talk about a simple pattern that we were seeing as we built the product and grew the company from 15 people to one over 500.

The pattern is this: You find yourself in an undesirable state. You realize that there’s a problem: something’s broken, and you want to fix it. But in fixing it, you often over correct. I’ve experienced this myself. I’ve done it many times, lots of people around me have done it many times, and the metaphor that I use to describe it, is that it’s like a big pendulum swinging back and forth. You see a problem, and you correct, and then momentum changes, and it swings back the other way. Sometimes you can’t re-correct, so you need to move things back into the middle and try and find some balance.

In my talk, I share five stories that I think will resonate with people. When you hear these stories, you’ll see yourselves in them, you’ll see your company in them, and you might just think: “Wow, that’s us. We do that.” Hopefully, it’ll help you think about it or think about doing things differently. These pendulum swings are emotional for people – for the people who swing the pendulum and for all the people that are connected to that person.

Watch the video of my talk above or listen to the talk on our podcast.


If you enjoyed this video, check out our other talks from the 2017 Inside Intercom world tour:

Inside-Intercom-World-Tour-Banner