Creative Tension – Articulate Your Vision

Elastic band to conceptually represent Creative Tension. Photo ©Mike Odlin

What you write about your business changes the way you think about your business. That changes how you act in your business.

At some point on your business journey, you’re going to meet a question inside that won’t go away.

This sort of thing:

‘why do more people not get what we’re trying to do? Why do they pass by & not take us up on it?’

Martin Luther King lived it,  Peter Senge wrote about it. They called it ….

…. Creative tension

Now do an experiment:

1 – Take one big elastic band

2 – Stretch it between your left and right hands

3 – Look at your hands. Imagine that your left hand is where you are now and your right hand is where you want to be (your vision).

Do it. Hold your hands out and get some distance.

Now here’s the interesting thing – the energy.

That gap between the left and the right, the now and the future vision, always creates an energy or a tension that wants to bring them together. You can actually feel it in your muscles if you really do it.

Can you feel where this is going?

You can use the energy to drag your vision (right hand) back to where you are now or you can let your vision pull your reality forward.

What happens depends on how committed to the vision you are. How strong does it live in you? Is it a flicker or is it unstoppable?

Managing change – framing

What you write about your business changes the way you think about your business. And, most importantly, it changes how you act in your business.

What you write about your business puts a frame around it – it helps you and your customers focus on the important message.

You can change if you do this:

1Open your eyes to what you’ve got now. If you think you’re too close to the business get fresh eyes on it.

2Ask: – what content needs to stay and what content needs to go? This is so you don’t leave good stuff behind or drag old stuff forward.

3Act: – make the changes the business needs.

Temptations to knock you off track

When you start on this journey there are 2 big temptations:

1 – You start to feel uncomfortable and defensive about what you built in the past. This makes it really hard to let go of your old content.

2 – You want to gallop off at the first suggestion of progress. Chances are you’ll leave some real diamonds behind.

It’s hard to do this on your own. It’s easier with a guide.

Know this -when you feel it’s uncomfortable or exciting then what you’re actually experiencing is the creative tension.

Somerset Maugham hit the nail on the head when he said, “only mediocre people are always at their best”.

RECAP. Creative tension is real, it’s common and it’s a sign that something needs to change.

So, ask yourself this question: are the words I use for my business mostly focused on where I’ve been or are they actually focusing things on where I’m going?  Am I happy with this?