New ideas can be threatening, and they can provoke a negative reaction. There is actually a bias against creativity. Most people will say that they value creativity. And they really believe that they do. But in fact, we harbor a bias against creative solutions in favor of those we perceive as safer and more practical. Most of us have a desire to minimize uncertainty. And creativity and innovation introduce a lot of uncertainty.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Often it’s the mistakes that get you to see differently. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Don’t be afraid of articulating crazy, seemingly unrealistic ideas.
The importance of stepping stones
You can’t force a creative idea. You have to coax it. One particular idea might not be the solution but it could be a stepping stone that leads to a solution. In the design of medical devices, the ideas that initially seem the least relevant become the most important ones of all because they point to something that you’ve been completely overlooking.