Creative tension

Channeled correctly, creative tension and healthy internal competition can fuel innovation and performance.

When people spend a lot of time together - arguments are inevitable,

People working in the same company probably spend more time with each other than they do with their families (especially true outside of forced remote working conditions), disagreements and differences of option are inevitable.

Sometimes tension is created and exacerbated because of different personal aspirations, petty office politics and subtle power struggles.

These feuds can go on for years and in some cases, split a business apart; or derail important growth projects that end up simply not getting off the ground.

This intangible energy element then is a powerful internal disruptor than can greatly affect the future of any business.

Channeled correctly though, creative tension and healthy internal competition can fuel innovation and performance.

Leadership is well advised to harness this energy to fire the company forward, but when that fire squares individuals up against each other in a fight for personal gain, which is at odds with what is best for the overall business - then your business has become a cage fight. It's a distraction from what you are collectively trying to achieve.

The quality of the relationships between colleagues cannot be quantified and captured on a spreadsheet; it is near impossible to index and action an intervention if the acceptable level of internal tension is breached.

This is however where intuition and the empathy of leadership plays such an important role; knowing the quality of the creative tension that fuels sustainable internal competition is key.

It takes a lot of collective self awareness to know when the energy of a group is tipping out of balance, but a vital skill for organisations that aim to create the future.