I am in that place of creative tension. I know it, because everything has brought me to here.

While reading Dan Pink’s latest book, To Sell is Human, he writes, backed by research, that motivation doesn’t come from the usual positive self talk…such as “I can do this”, but rather from what he describes as interrogative self-talk..”How can I do this?”

I have always been good at asking questions. Asking a really great question is even better. I do believe that if you stay in the question the answer will reveal itself. What we cannot predict is the time it will take for the answer to become evident.

And given the times of change, and 2:23AM’s commitment to evolutionary organisations, the questions I am asking are often pioneering questions. The ones that when answered do not have precedent. These are the truly innovative and creative questions.

By their nature they are not questions that you hold for seconds or days, but for weeks, months and years. Hugo Spowers from the podcast last week, obviously held his questions around how to create the business model to support 100% resource neutral cars, for many years.

You have to believe the question has an answer.

That answer will depend on a whole sequence of events. The right technology suddenly being available, the market need being there, the larger ecosystem creating the environmental and life conditions to enable the answer to emerge…

Some of our great movie directors had to hold the creative tension in their vision and the timing for the technology to catch up with their vision. Only then could they create the movie they wanted. (James Cameron, Avatar, for example)

Indeed the iphone is an example of the unique combination of timing, technology and creative tension.

There is no easy way to hold the creative tension other than deep seated faith in your question and vision. Plus endurance. And commitment.

Get lots of support. More than you think you will need.

Gandhi and Mandela are examples of this. Gandhi believed that there was a way for India to step into its own sovereignty. Mandela believed that apartheid would end. The constant question was how…with what…and who…I would guess that many times they did not know the answer, but they did stay in the question.

Did I say get lots of support? It’s tough. You know the answer is there, so so close….hang in there. Don’t give up. Do not give up.


Photo credit: Creative Commons License xploitme via Compfight


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