Robert Fritz, musician, film maker, and organizational consultant, has articulated three principles that can help leaders more effectively create desired outcomes. The first principle, creating is different from problem-solving, was the topic of a previous blog post. Fritz’s second principle is: “The creative process is animated by the gap between vision and reality.” Peter Senge writes about it this way:
“When we picture something we want to create, we’re imaging a vision of the future, which also evokes the implicit difference from what currently exists. Every creative artist understands this principle. Fritz calls it “structural tension,” and says it can be resolved by taking action to achieve our vision. Closing the gap between vision and reality is the essence of the creative arts. Artists get no credit for brilliant ideas unless they can bring them into reality. This “bringing of vision to reality” is also the essence of great social, political, or business leadership.
However, because this tension between vision and reality can be uncomfortable, creative tension becomes emotional tension and we often seek ways around it. One way to lessen the emotional tension is simply to reduce our true vision, to give up our dreams and aim for only “realistic goals.” While this might reduce our discomfort, it also reduces creative energy. The second way is even more troubling: we do not tell the truth about current reality. Just as the dynamics of compromise – lowering our vision – are common in human affairs, so too are the dynamics of denial. But to the extent that we misrepresent current reality, we lose the capacity to change that reality. The energy of the creative process is released not just by holding true to a vision, but also by telling the truth about what is.”
My 1-on-1 coaching work supports leaders to fully explore the current reality; to dig deeply within themselves in service of fully illuminating the truth of what is. From this place of sound knowing, emerges desire and motivation to go for the dream; not simply the “realistic goals”. Through our partnership, I will guide you in making (and keeping) commitments to yourself and in taking bold steps toward your desired future.