Innovation is, in essence, change. And change has a way of striking people in an odd way. Change is too often regarded as unwanted, unnecessary, and scary.
In businesses and industries that have been around the block, change is often shot down. People equate change as an admission of wrongdoings, or a waste of money and resources, or a burden.
And the people that suggest or bring about change, take the risk of being shunned or hated for it. The reason that the US economy has led the way is that we accept failure. We see challenges and opportunities as good things, and we praise those that take chances. You can fail, but still create real opportunity. Failure is not the end. But it is still far too hard to change things.
The greatest business innovators in history have had to face the doubts of their peers. And often, those doubts turn to personal attacks. This has led to a fear of standing out, or being different.
Henry Ford faced criticism for creating a car for the masses. There is no need for everyone to have a car, they said. Steve Jobs faced criticism for creating personal computers. No one will want a computer in their household, they said. “THEY” were wrong.
Realize this, most often, the people that are against change are those that are profiting the most from the way things are. They are not thinking about what is best for the industry, or the people they serve, they are thinking about themselves. And they see change as harmful to them, because they are so good at the status quo.
It takes a strong mind and an even stronger will to face these doubters head on. If you have an idea, you have to know that somewhere, someone will not like it. Don’t be afraid of defending yourself. Don’t be afraid to stand toe to toe with the status quo. Don’t be afraid to be different. That is how things get done, and that is how we, as a country, move forward.