Innovation is nothing more than doing something in a new manner that provides an outcome that is better than that provided by the current method or solution. Therefore, innovation starts with the notion that they way we are doing it and have always done it is no longer the best. This can create fear or unease in some who are less secure with the unknown.
One of my favorite ad campaigns of the 1980’s was the H-P ad that showed their employee in a telephone booth (I am really dating my self now) along side a dirt road in rural America talking to his colleagues and asking them “What if…?”
That simple question, “What if,” is the spark of innovation. It happened when people wanted to travel faster than a horse could take them. It happened when the cell phone industry was replaced by the Smartphone industry when “simple” communication devices were replaced with multi-media entertainment and life management devices that, by the way, permit communication too.
The fear that innovation invites is the fear of insecurity that we may no longer be as good as we think we are. This fear is also caused by the unknown. Something “new & innovated” is by definition unknown and this tends to cause at least some level of fear in all humans.
The real question of innovation is not whether it will occur but when. Innovation is most likely going to be created by those who faced their fears, planned around & through them, and moved forward inspite of the fear of the unknown.
Playing it (too) safe prevents progress. Facing fears and navigating through them ensures it.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Plato
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_fear.html#5iRMhux4c5m06WXX.99