Peter Senge author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization on “Creative Tension“.
Creative tension : When we hold a vision that differs from current reality, a gap exists, which the author calls, ” creative tension “. This tension can be resolved in two ways. One option is to take action to bring reality into line with the vision, while the other way is to lower the vision downward. Individuals and companies often choose the latter, because it’s easy to “declare victory” and walk away from a problem. That releases the tension . But these are the dynamics of compromise and mediocrity. Truly creative people use the gap between what they want and what is, to generate energy for change & remain true to their vision. c) Commitment to truth: This does not mean seeking the “truth”, it means a relentless willingness to uncover the ways we limit and deceive ourselves from seeing what is, and to continually challenge the ways things are. It means broadening our awareness and understanding the structures that underlie and generate events. (my emphasis)
The principle of creative tension is the central principle of personal mastery (Senge, 1990). Creative tension is not emotional tension or anxiety. Instead, it is the awareness of the gap between our personal vision and our current reality. That gap is the source of all creative energy
There are three components of creative tension: the vision, current reality and the gap….