The harmony of a triad: assessment – diagnosis – therapy

Hanno Wolfram


In music, the harmony of triads is an important element to improve the quality of a piece, improving our sense of well-being and positive emotional state when we listen to it. However, such triads are also found in management studies and in our daily lives.

There is an established and familiar triad in how to approach the interpretation of facts or problems.

In medicine it is a tried and trusted standard operating procedure that assessing and documenting results is a defined first step of medical intervention. Hints from such first assessment steps drive the continuum of diagnosis. The question of whether the stethoscope and auscultation are enough for a clear diagnosis or whether a patient needs to undergo magnetic resonance tomography (MRT ) or body plethysmography would be one such outcome of an initial assessment. The process itself is manifested in what many call the medical art, something that is driven by training and education, vast experience and following the triad to its full extent.

Derived from and consistently following the steps of the medical triad, diagnosis is found as a second step. To allow the respective diagnosis to be fully understood without any room for misinterpretation diagnoses are coded numerically using the ICD10 code. This grants a singular understanding across multiple medical disciplines, leaving no room for individual assumptions or interpretation.

 Triads 3

This triad therefore can add a lot of value in business as well, helping to ensure the quality and integrity of successive therapies. Under such circumstances the “therapy” will no longer be anything mysterious or difficult but instead be seen simply as applying rules, guidelines and a lot of common sense.

In the pharmaceutical industry you can find numerous standard operating procedures (SOPs) which attempt to recreate this process. However, in arguably the most valuable and the most expensive areas of business, marketing and sales, there seems to be a distinct absence of such SOPs. In these departments often everyone is left alone, trying his or her best, without having a clear process in place and often trying to “re-invent the wheel”.

This is why in marketing and sales final judgements and “steps of treatment” are often arrived at far too early from an Excel-spreadsheet or a simple SWOT-analysis. This is akin to a doctor conducting an assessment and diagnosis based on the patient filling in a short online survey and nothing else. Subsequent “therapy” is therefore often based or derived only from assumptions which do not even exist in writing!

The resultant solutions are at best inadequate, at worst downright tragic, since intuition is a poor substitute for being armed with the facts. Due to the missing steps of the triad, therapeutic sustainability = economic success cannot be expected.

Companies therefore are routinely putting harmonious growth and lasting achievements at the mercy of fate, through not establishing and executing the triad of assessment – diagnosis – therapy.

About the author:

Hanno Wolfram is the Founder of Innov8 Software &amp, Training, located in Germany. For enquiries about this article he may be contacted at

Innov8 is dedicated to change for the better through implementing the coherent and consistent execution of strategy. In the last 10 years, it has delivered projects in more than 25 countries and addressed thousands of representatives and their managers on 4 continents. Through integration with a network of professionals dedicated to the extraordinary power of the Innov8 methodology, it is following the core guideline and the starting point of any change in organisational behaviour and adult education in general: “I love to learn, but I hate to be taught!”

Does pharma properly diagnose issues before addressing them?