Last weekend my parents, my wife and I, and our 2 teenagers watched “The Monuments Men.” It was very nice to have 3 generations of my family in the same room enjoying a good, thought-provoking movie.
At the beginning of the movie they showed the standard MPAA warning for a PG–13 movie but with a twist this time. In addition to the warning of violence (as expected, it is a movie about WWII), there was a warning about “HISTORICAL SMOKING”.
Since when did “historical smoking” become a warning in a movie? Especially in a movie portraying the violence of warfare. My family sees people smoking everyday. I watched my dad smoke for over 35 years and I’ve never tried it. I do not think smoking is a good idea but it is legal. I do not fear smoking because I am aware of its impact to health and I choose to avoid it.
Fear and its Affect on Initiative and Productivity
What does this warning have to do with business and product development? I think a great deal.
We seem to be fearful of so many things and these fears negatively impact our initiative and productivity. Three common fears that affect businesses are:
1. Loss of employment
This is a major hindrance to initiative. If an employee does not feel secure enough to try new ideas and to experiment, then progress and innovation are stifled.
This is a common societal problem. “That’s a dumb idea” will stop creative thinking dead in its tracks and possibly forever if it happens enough times. Encourage others – family, friends, employees to try new processes and product ideas.
Strange as it may seem, some people are afraid of success. A couple of reasons are:
Once they are successful, they fear they cannot repeat it. The concern that they are only a “one-hit wonder.” Many Academy award winners wonder if they will every work again. If successful, then their peer group may change and change is difficult for some people. If your business encourages and expects success, then success becomes the norm for your business. Everyone improves a little with each project.
I loved the movie. It showed some very talented individuals devoted to their passion (in this case works of art) coming together in a time of need and putting aside their fear to be successful. Don’t let fear, yours or that of others, prevent you from succeeding.