You like secrets?  Today, I’m going to pull back the KOMA curtain and give you a glimpse behind the scenes. I’m going to share with you one of the most important elements of our success as a company. Ready? Here it is: As a company, we appreciate and embrace… tension.

Yes, tension. Surprised? Many of you might be. A lot of people would expect me to say that, as a company, we appreciate and embrace collaboration. Or creativity. Or hard work or communication or any number of other items that we’ve all heard are key ingredients of a successful company. And, to be fair, we do embrace all of these items. But I believe that it’s the tension that exists – in fact, that we even welcome – that is essential to our growth as a company.

Confused? Let me explain. We don’t go around seeking out tension just to have it; it’s just present in our world.  But rather than try to set up some system or strategy to block or eliminate it, we want to be a place where we can use the tensions for a greater good.

Here’s where I think we excel: We work hard to embrace the tensions and make them creative tensions. Creative tensions are rooted in respect, filled with open and honest communication, and devoid of defensiveness. Creative tensions help the best decisions rise up. Creative tensions encourage buy-in. Creative tensions help us to stretch and take action and explore possibilities and address areas of concern and provide better service and ultimately become a better place to work and provide more value to our clients.

Moving toward a culture of creative tensions isn’t easy. It takes work, and it takes practice. It takes a shift in thinking. Most importantly, it takes trust. It takes trust.

Here at KOMA, we daily encounter instances where tension exists. There are even inherent tensions between our three disciplines – structural engineering, architecture and interior design – during the course of almost any project. Our leadership team is made up of individuals who each bring a different perspective to the table. But because we trust and respect one another, we endeavor to keep these tensions creative. And because they can be creative, we’re able to use these tensions to our advantage.

I am convinced that both our employees and our clients benefit from this approach. And I know my colleagues feel the same way.

It’s not always easy, and it’s not always what we would naturally choose, but our commitment to embracing creative tensions is one of the many reasons I feel KOMA will continue to grow as a company and deliver outstanding engineering and design services.


Interested in learning more about how we put creative tensions to use for our clients? Drop me a note.