It is fear.
It is fear that does not allow us to innovate.
It is fear that does not allow "top management" to allow employees to innovate.
"What if something goes wrong?"
"Experiments fail most of the time."
"No one will be interested."
Thankfully - slowly, but surely - this fear is vanishing.
But it is being replaced by another fear - fear of not surviving in today's competitive and dynamic environment. But this, in my opinion is healthy fear. After all - it is the survival of the fittest. And if one is afraid to fall sick...then it is great to have this fear.
One way I get rid of fear is by getting back to nature.
I catch frogs. Just today, I graduated to catching Chameleons! How many of us will say "Eeek!" or "That's disgusting!" or "Yuck!"? I say that's fear. I was afraid too - till I did it - till I actually caught the frogs and the chameleons. In fact I missed a prized frog today - it was a giant green frog - lovely pattern. Not a toad mind you - but a large frog. It had a diameter of 6 inches.
I missed it because I had a chameleon in one of my hands.
What I learnt was that - You create your own opportunities.
Once you let go of fear, you will have more opportunities and avenues which will present themselves, thus increasing your chances of survival. This applies not only to catching frogs and chameleons, but also to Innovation. If you innovate once, you realize it isn't as tough as you thought. Neither is it as failure-prone as you believed. Once you innovate, you see everything around you with different eyes, you "discover" opportunities, you get into dilemmas - "Should I let go of the chameleon and get that giant frog?"
What will you be catching today?