Business Innovation Goes Beyond Fear

Business innovation will always be a hot topic today and 50 years into the future. Staying ahead of the flow and therefore the competition helps organizations and individuals to go beyond surviving to thriving. Over at Blogging Innovation, the author, Mitch Ditkoff, provided 50 ways to foster a culture of innovation.

One recurring theme was the removal of Fear. (Way #2) This is a kindred spirit of the “Status Quo” of the human condition not to change. Part of the reason is within our genetic make up. To change requires energy and our bodies are wired for self preservation. Dedicating energy away from our own internal prime directive (fight or flight) is a conscious and continued action. Additionally automatic pilot makes it far easier to get through some of the more monotonous

Another reason is probably due to our own internal talents such as “Self Esteem,” “Role Awareness,” “Self Confidence,” “Personal Accountability” and “Self Direction.” When these specific talents are not high, then making decision to change, to think differently (decide to do something different) will simply not happen because self doubt expressed through negative self talk now creeps in. Of course most people do not truly know their talents and this lack of knowledge potentially inhibits their capacity to being open to innovation.

How many times have we said something like, “We cannot do it that way?” or “We have never done it that way?” or “That just cannot be done!”? These remarks are reflective of self doubt created by Fear. And then what happens? Nothing which is something as indecision is a decision and therefore an action.

Years ago I discovered this acronym for FEAR:

  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

Much of what we fear including change and the ability to accept different thoughts is because we have not validated what may happen. Thomas Edison who failed miserably so many times had a good mental thought because he recognized that each mistake was not the best way to solve the problem. John Maxwell in his book, Failing Forward described how mistakes are truly part of that potentially immobilizing fear syndrome.

Business innovation requires leaders from the C Suite to the frontline to let go of fear, to be able to rethink what they are currently doing. The goal is improve organizational and individual performance. What this looks like is different for each firm and person. However without innovation, mankind might still be living in caves instead of walking on the moon.

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