Three Sides of Business Success: Finding the Balance - Anthony Ventress

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3 min readApr 14, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Martin Sanchez

Through the ages, the symbol of the triangle has had many meanings for various cultures around the world. Overall, the triangle represents balance, harmony, and equilibrium and is a symbol for direction, used often on road signs and elevators to indicate forward movement. The triangle is also a popular approach in business through such well-known frameworks as the “3Ps Sustainability Triangle” — people, planet and profit — and the “3Cs Strategic Triangle” — customer-based, company-based, and competitor-based.

We’re in conversation with Anthony Ventress, a health care technology leader who has developed his own triangle for the tenets of successful leadership.

Anthony, you’ve said you follow a triangular approach in navigating business challenges. What is your triangle, and how does this perspective help you succeed?

The triangle I use was a result of reflecting on my experiences. Looking back on the opportunities I’ve been given throughout my career, I realized that each required a three-sided approach: leveraging my expertise in technology, understanding my customers and developing business services that meet their needs, and building the right team to deliver the technology and services and continually grow our product and service offerings.

In engineering, we’re often enamored with the product — the technology — but don’t fully understand how it will be used by our customers to improve their business and drive growth. In the early days of health care technology, we moved from film to digital imaging and at GE, were among the first to digitize imaging for electronic distribution. We built a team that could not only deliver the technology but also deploy it, integrate it, and drive value for the customer. I built the team structure and used the same approach as I moved into the new areas of diagnostic cardiology and ultrasound.

Can you offer us an example of how understanding customer needs is beneficial not only in driving value for the customer but also in growing your own business?

At GE, much of our global ultrasound business centered on the probe — the part of the system that touches the patient’s body. Probes are well made but after 15 years or so, they may need service or replacement. When we analyzed the data, we realized 80 percent of our customers sought third parties to fix their broken probes, while just 20 percent came back to us to buy a new one.

To gain that market share and better serve our customers, we needed to develop a trusted service for maintaining and supporting these devices. The process started with me writing data on a napkin one day over lunch, and from there, finding a third-party repair company whose quality was top-tier and building a business model for a new maintenance and refurbishment service.

How does the triangular approach help in team building?

It reinforces that we are more than the product we’re focused on. At my company, for example, we may have 50 people who’ve been delivering the same product for 15 years. When the product is reaching its end of life, we may need to reduce the size of the team that supports it. As the team understands the technology and business services side of the triangle, they’re prepared to accept their change in role and to move to another platform that they can grow with into the future. Rather than identifying with a specific product, then, they identify with their wider role as an engineer who can use their technical expertise to add value to the customer experience of any product.

As a technology leader, I see my role as one of ‘connecting the dots’ for the team — creating a road map to chart our path, tie each step to its value to our customers, external and internal, and motivate the team to move forward in the same direction.

We are grateful for your thoughtful reflections, Anthony.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn

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Anthony Ventress is a senior technical and services executive in the medical device industry. An inclusive leader with a global cultural perspective, he is devoted to building authentic, long-term relationships. He leads with a never-failing positive attitude that helps companies turn problems into solutions, drive growth and revenue, and keep teams motivated and aligned.

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