Tension is good in business. It is how you know you are on the verge of something worthwhile. I think Seth Godin says it best, "Our ability to dance with the fear and to seek out the discomfort is what makes our contribution scarce and valuable".
But still. All that dancing is tiring. Although, if you are lucky perhaps you sprinkle the doubt with serendipity and lean into the discomfort.
I responded to an invitation to attend a gathering of creatives, thinkers, game-changers, and thought leaders on peace and reconciliation, curated ideas from the world we inhabit, and like-minded curiousity entrepreneurs. The weekend was spent immersed in civil conversation, poetry, nature, rich dialogue and friendship. I even managed to quiet my monkey mind and attend a meditation session or two led by Sharon Salzberg and Sylvia Boorstein.
It is understandably complex to tease out threads and align them with specific tasks, objectives, or meaningful outcomes. One thing I know for sure? If you measure the easy thing--it is often the wrong thing. This applies to business and in daily measured behaviors and assumptions.
A common thread during our gathering included musings between critical mass and critical yeast--opt for being critical yeast. It takes a balance of sugar and acid for optimal growth. Let's come back bigger and ready to move forward. Cultivate insights from across industry or ideology.
Ways we sacrifice our work to our fear...(a few from Footprints on the Moon)
Sacrifice the work for the commercial short-term
I did this. A lot. The phone rings (or inbox pings) and there is a task and money associated with delivering. We tell ourselves the ideas will wait and we grab the low hanging fruit.
Fall behind on domain knowledge
I schedule reading and research EVERY DAY. You should too. Naturally there are likely better data analysts, health economists, health policy experts, and medical minds--but how about those of us willing to align our gaps and innovate from all perspectives-- in the white space around each unique problem?
Listen to people who are afraid or have small dreams
If I had a nickel for every client that breaks out into a cold-sweat before uttering--but this is how we have always done it. Same data sources, same data, same insight,
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”