THE CONFIDENCE GROW BLOG
I'm sure you’ve heard it said that we are living in a time of unprecedented innovation. You don't have to be very old to have seen the enormous changes in our world in just the last couple of decades or so. Innovation has completely changed the world we live in, the businesses we operate and work in, and even the way we relate and connect with each other. Most of us have embraced or at least accepted these changes (to varying degrees) and live with an expectation of more innovation to come. We expect it now. From everywhere. And we expect it often. Whether you agree with the fast-paced changes in our world or not, most people do believe that innovation is part of our modern culture - good or bad. And there is so much good.
According to my resource, Wikipedia, this is a current definition of what innovation is:
Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.
New ideas and methods are responsible for the exciting, effective, interesting, better, and new ways of doing things, making things, selling things, helping things, etc, that we all embrace today! Indeed, innovation, whether it was slow or fast-paced, has been the force of change and evolution for human kind since we began on this planet (think fire, wheels, motors, etc). I for one do NOT want to stifle or discourage innovation. I love so many of the truly innovative ideas and methods that have been created in recent years. However, there are many indicators that something is happening to our fastpaced innovative society, that threatens the nature and essence of innovation.
First, there is fear! Fear of failure! For many people, and maybe even a growing segment of society, it is no small feat to get over this one. Fear/fear of failure can be debilitating for many people. This kind of failure can make people second-guess their innovative ideas or make them think that they don't need to innovate anymore. I believe that fear can be experienced most commonly at two different places in a venture. First, the early happening of it is at the beginning. The bigger the dreams and hopes that are tied to a new venture, the more likely you will have to battle the Fear-monster! So many what-ifs, and what-abouts jumping around that you can easily become overwhelmed. And fearful. This is not good, fertile ground for innovation to thrive.
The next place when you can really see fear in
a venture, is when you're on top of your game. You've at the level where you’ve
achieved some success, and things are
going great! For many, this becomes a trap that scares you away from
innovation. You start to be afraid of taking chances, changing things up, or creating
something new in case you mess it up and fail. Jonathan Fields talks about this
in his book, "Uncertainty". He talks about how a creative person and/or
entrepreneur can change their viewpoint and willingness to innovate from where
it was when they were creating the opportunity to having it become about loss aversion,
fear and scarcity once they attain a level of success that they are now
invested in NOT losing.
Second, there is a lack of confidence (which seems the same as fear of failure, and it is in some respects, but hear me out)! This one isn't so much a fear of failure, where you have a bunch of innovative ideas but are worried that if you go implement them, they may fail. With a lack of confidence, it's more likely that you are paralyzed so that the ideas don't even come to you. You are so overwhelmed with the amazing innovations all around you that you think it's all been done or that you are not nearly clever enough or experienced enough to come up with something new and valuable. You lack confidence to even join in the innovation game.
Innovation moves so fast today. Sometimes it's so complicated; other times so transparent with internet/social media/open source/collaboration;often overwhelms newbie’s and seasoned professionals alike; and usually can change your life and business dramatically in either direction, depending on whether you’ve succeeded or failed.
So in a sense, innovation now breeds contempt for innovation.
And that is the worst place you can ever be. We must always be willing to
innovate and not be afraid to risk, to take chances, to try new things. Yes,
you may fail, if you innovate, but if you don’t innovate, you’ll fail on a much
grander scheme of things.
“I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
Life is amazing...live it well!
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