Thursday, March 21, 2013

Purposeful tension

Tension is not something that most of us consciously pursue; however, tension is a fertile frontier in which creativity and innovation hang out.

Tension between data is accepted as a norm in scholarly research.  All data is dependent upon the reference frames from which they are observed.  What is significant and meaningful in one reference frame might not be significant and meaningful in another.  The data are never wrong, they are what they are, but inferences from the data can be wrong.

Just as scholars don't let the tension between data stop further inquiry, neither should you let tension between ideas, tension between people, and tension between differing reference frames halt your inquisitiveness and sense of discovery.  Newness, the unique and the novel, always creates tension.  Wade in to it, use it, and above all, don't shield yourself from it.