Information so valuable, we want EVERYONE to know!

What is the Institute for Productive Tension?

The Institute for Productive Tension® — or “IPT” — is dedicated to the ongoing study of “Productive Tension®” — a concept originally proposed by our Founder, T. Falcon Napier, in the early 1980’s — and how “Tension Management®” applies in maximizing human performance and productivity. Beyond our research and development initiatives, we identify, train, certify, license and support independent and corporate-based trainers, coaches and consultants in the use of our proprietary programs, products and services with their clients around the world.

What is Productive Tension?

“Tension is the fuel that powers the human enterprise.” — T. Falcon Napier

The key to human performance, productivity, progress and potential.

Productive Tension is defined as the ideal level of tension that allows us to advance our mission-critical activities. The appropriate level of tension permits a person to more effectively choose what to do — and when to do it. It has profound impact in:

  • Selling
  • Consulting
  • Coaching
  • Managing
  • Leading

You may have heard others use intangible language such as being ‘in a state of flow’ or ‘in the zone’. But at the Institute for Productive Tension, we’ve distilled it down to a science!

The Science of Tension

For nearly 30 years we’ve devoted ourselves to the study and development of a new field of human understanding, based on a simple rule that governs all behavior:

People pay attention to where they find their tension.”
T. Falcon Napier

Just as the strings on a guitar must be tightened to produce a range of notes, Productive Tension results when we find the appropriate balance between too much tension and not enough, between the extremes of stress and complacency.

Achieving this balance to harness the power of Productive Tension is the subject of the field of study we call Tension Management®.

For most professionals the concept of Tension Management is altogether new or unfamiliar at best. Most individuals mistakenly associate the term with “stress management.”

While stress is certainly an aspect of the overall concept of tension, it tells just one piece of the story. In fact, too little tension can be just as counterproductive as too much.

So what is “Tension Management®”?

  • As a field of study, Tension Management explores the entire range of possibilities – from levels of tension that are much too high to those that are far too low. It identifies, somewhere in between, a level of tension that enhances human performance, productivity, progress and potential.
  • As a tool, Tension Management allows you to determine the levels of productive tension, intention and engagement an individual or group is experiencing about the specific situations most important to them. More importantly, it allows you to predict the likelihood that they will actually follow through and execute on a plan of action.
  • As a skill set, Tension Management is the key to maximizing positive outcomes and minimizing negative impacts. It supports you in measuring, monitoring and managing the level and flow of Productive Tension and achieving the results you most want for yourself, your employees and your clients.
  • As a philosophy, Tension Management enables you to see people, the choices they make and the actions they take from a new perspective — and to work with them more efficiently and effectively than ever before.