blog_fear stops innovation

What Serial Innovators Know about Fear

I read a blog article at the Huffington Post by Judith E. Glaser called, “Innovate or Evaporate“. This is a good article about innovation,  but I have one disagreement her statements about fear limiting innovation. In a nutshell she says,

"When fear 'owns our brains' we cannot think creatively... All we think about is how to protect ourselves."

There are indeed processes that happen consistently within the human brain. We have responses to inputs that travel in ‘ruts’ or along strong synapse paths. In these cases inputs create a cascade of reactions. Fear can cause a cascade of reactions that does indeed ‘close down’ the creative parts of our brain and get us stuck in protection mode. But, and this is a big ‘but’, it doesn’t need to. A person can train their brain to respond differently to fear – interrupt the cascade – deflect the automatic response – and react more usefully and creatively. Serial innovators train themselves to be able to change states.
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Pioneer Thinking versus Entitlement

Avatar Picture of DaynaPioneer Thinking (.wmv)

I know I often write about psychological inertia (PI) and the problems it creates, but today I want to talk about how PI can be beneficial in some cases and detrimental in other cases.  As Americans, we used to embrace some PI that was great (the pioneering spirit) and I fear we are in danger of losing it – replacing it – overwriting it with something new (a system of entitlement).

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