Expert Judgment

Creativity, Innovation, Learning – Fear of Failure

Posted in Uncategorized by dnzrn on March 26, 2009

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.

-Sven Goran Eriksson

Let me just intoduce you a wonderful website, that I have recently discovered. (Thanks to Onurka)


TED brings conferences together and publish them over the internet. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. I find it very useful to watch one or two presentations, in a week. The speakers are often very knowledgeable in their fields and listening to them inspires me.

So, I was watching a number of very interesting presentations, which subjects innovation and creativity. Well, this semester I am taking a course called “Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, so that should explain my unpredicted curiosity in these concepts. Anyway, there are tons of questions waiting to be answered about innovation, people keep asking.  

  • How do we innovate? 
  • How do we learn? 
  • How does creative process differ from one person to another? 
  • What should organizations do in order to enhance creativity of the members?
  • Is there a correlation between stress and creativity, pressure and creativity? 
  • Can creativity/good design be learned, or are they hardcoded on our genes?

(I think) I have pretty good answers for those questions, but our instructor keeps telling me that my answers are too political.

I chose to focus on creativity now.  Think about how you create… What makes you more able to solve problems? How do you learn? (Appearently, I can learn better by seeing, rather than reading)

Elizabeth Gilbert, emphasizes the emotional risks of creative work in her speech on TED.

Fear of Failure… Certainly something we don’t want. Gilbert, tells us how ancient people have approached to creativity. In ancient rome, people used to believe that creativity was not originated from humans, but certain divine spirits, which romans named them Geinus. Greeks called them Daemons

This kind of belief, resulted in certain abstraction of the creator from the creation. (Assuming ancient romans and greeks were wrong, and creativity is related to the individual herself.) Well, this helped to the redirection of blame if the creation ends up bad. Such a wonderful way to cope with fear of failure. But Gilbert says,  If it works, why not use it?  

Gilbert advices us at the end; “Don’t fear. Do your job anyway. If your Daemon is with you, then ole’. If not, just do your part of the job. “