Warning: Creativity Ahead

Creativity is disruptive.

My friend Leena shared that her "creativity has stirred up some unintentional panic situations." I believe it. Creativity is about change, newness, and something different. It can be scary, intimidating, and leave some feeling left out. 

One of the biggest impediments to creativity is fear. This fear is more about external/institutional issues then internal/personal ones. It's simplest definition and symptoms are we've-never-done-it-that-way-before-itis. Any change is seen as a indictment of the way things were done before and the persons connected to them. 

So, where to begin? 

Unfortunately, I have yet to discover a quick cure for this all-to-common malaise. What I have found to be a helpful remedy is:
  • listening to the incumbents (repeat frequently)   
  • honesty (applied gently yet firmly)
  • time (patience, persistence, and politeness)  

I've joked with the manager of the team I am on for an event we're part of that I should probably come with a warning label. It seems that somewhere in the timeline of this event I always manage to push at least one (okay, more like five or six) uncomfortable edges for folks. I suggest ideas and concepts that make perfect sense in Michael-land, but can be extremely foreign to others in the rest of the universe, usually because they've never been done before. I'm still learning how to best suggest the change(s) I passionately believe in for this event, and how to follow my own remedy above. 

I've seen progress, though, in both myself and in those whose edges I'm pushing. Now, I just need to figure out how to speed up time…

When have you been successful in creating in the midst of or in in spite of a fear-based environment? How did you deal with the fear in the institution?