Conquering The Enemies of Innovation: Silence and Fear
by David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott
Causes of fear of innovation:
“1. Fear of making a mistake tops the list (cited by 30%)
2. Fear of getting fired. In fact, not only the fear of getting fired outright, but the fear of appearing less dedicated or vital if they actually take earned vacation days is a big issue in a slow economy. The data shows employees left an average of 11 vacation days untaken in 2011.
3. Fear of dealing with difficult customers or clients
4. Fear of conflict with a manager
5. Fear of speaking in front of a group
6. Fear of disagreements with co-workers”
“How can we help employees to conquer their fears, and to bring their innovation forward? We suggest the following three steps:
1. We must learn to truly trust our employees.
2. We must rely on principles, not policies, to govern our decisions and acts
3. Employees must experiment before they create.”
I’d add that experimenting with new styles, playing with technologies, and trying new things is essential and not a frill in today’s environment of dealing with transformational changes. Creating a climate of fear or doing too little to reduce fear is so Foxconn!