Innovation has long been the main driving factor in human development. In a number of spheres, the ability to create new concepts and ideas allows for an immediate enhancement of the living standards of millions of people. Therefore, humanity should realize the importance of nurturing this gift in all ways possible. Innovative people have already become the main treasure of a nation, as they have proven instrumental in lifting countries out of poverty and bringing in more wealth. Moreover, the modern economy is generally focused on promoting the innovative processes and the associated skills in most industries. Due to automation, people need to find new ways to apply their experience, as monotonous tasks are already performed by machines. Therefore, most organizations and states are determined to improve the creativity levels. Numerous researches have been working on the issue, and most of them underline that fear has historically been the major obstacle to the proper innovation process.
Fear and the Economy
Fear has always been an important tool meant to help humans survive and prioritize their activities. Nevertheless, it has recently become vivid that the variety of different fears and anxieties has grown substantially, and most of them no longer play a crucial role in preventing people from dangerous activities. Risk aversion is currently a tremendous problem in safe and affluent societies that rely significantly on innovations as the main drivers of the economy. Therefore, nations should provide their citizens with numerous guarantees so as to encourage the population to be engaged in various innovative projects at their workplaces or even start their own innovative companies. Moreover, some tech giants have even begun to reward their teams for some mistakes, as it provides vital experience (Ouslis et al. 1). The ease of doing business has also become an important tool for entrepreneurs and investors worldwide, as it shows the ability of a state to mitigate the bureaucratic processes undermining innovation in the first place.
Innovations at the Workplace
Nevertheless, people living in rather comfortable conditions continue to experience fear that undermines their opportunities to become successful through innovations. Inventing something is just a small part of the innovation process, as it is much harder to implement the actual changes and convince people that there is a demand for innovation. Innovation as a mindset addresses the internalization of innovation by individual members of the organization where innovation is instilled and ingrained (Kahn 453). The mere ability of the employees to speak out on current issues is already a great leap forward for any organization. Companies should provide a wide array of incentives that make sure rewards are superior to fears.
Forms of Fear
The forms of fear that employees may experience differ significantly. Most importantly, they tend to originate from real and potential threats. Moreover, the complexity of modern lifestyle and society emphasizes the growing importance of implicit threats. People commonly suffer from fears of loss (position, control, value), risks, change, decision-making, rocking the boat, the unknown, and failure. Businessmen and employees can experience fear of open innovation, self-cannibalization, and not learning (Li et al. 47). Thus, business environment and severe competition also impact the ability to overcome fear in order to innovate.
Despite all the advantages that various innovations have, society still creates numerous obstacles and barriers that hinder the opportunities to implement new ideas. The strong desire to question and resist everything that is unknown and that may alter the current way of life and hierarchy is deeply rooted in human nature. Therefore, fighting the fear, which is our biological feature, is not the best strategy. Encouraging innovation, being supportive, promoting a positive outlook, and creating the right incentives are the main ingredients of courage, which is a virtue capable of eliminating the negative effects of fear.
Kahn, Kenneth B. “Understanding innovation.” Business Horizons, vol. 61, no. 3, 2018, pp. 453–460. Web.
Li, Tengyue, Joao Alexandre Lobo Marques, and Simon Fong. “Health and Well-Being Education: Extending the SCARF Learning Analytics Model for Identifying the Learner Happiness Indicators.” International Journal of Extreme Automation and Connectivity in Healthcare (IJEACH), vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 42–53. Web.
Ouslis, Natasha, Audra Grace Quinn, and Natalie Allen. “A Fear of Failure Fallacy? How Team Innovation Beliefs and Performance Relate to Fear of Failure.” Academy of Management Proceedings, no. 1, 2020. Web.