Focus and Ambiguity

A Chinese man created these structures on a beach using nothing other than the natural balance of the objects.  When asked how he did it, he responded “Well I guess with everything in life, there is a place of balance…”

Amy Tan, once noted that the key to creativity was first establishing a focus for her work.  Once she identified a focus, she obsessed on it and (in her words) the universe opened up to show her clues everywhere that related to the topic she had selected.  The irony is, the clues had always been there, she just repositioned herself to see and observe those clues due to her choice of focus.

Like Amy, once you identify the focus (the vision) of your organizational improvements, the “universe” will open up and show you clues.  Providing a clear focus and strong vision for the improvements however, is more than just putting a goal on the wall and making a presentation at an all hands meeting.  It is about connecting people with organizational outcomes in such a way that drives targeted questioning and problem solving, engages people in the improvements, and motivates people to take risks and redesign their current concept of reality.

The problem is that while you need a crystal clear focus to frame your work, it is in the midst of the ambiguity where innovation is born.  The act of creating something new by juxtaposing seemingly opposed ideas, requires you to be comfortable working in a “grey area.”  Focus provides the vision but ambiguity provides the fuel for creativity.  It takes a balance of both focus and ambiguity to accomplish your goal of driving rapid results through daily innovation.

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2 responses to “Focus and Ambiguity

  1. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

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