Top Five Risks of Creativity (or Why Creativity Takes Courage and Bravery)

Top Five Risks of Creativity (or Why Creativity Takes Courage and Bravery)

This week at work, we had a problem with another department with whom we collaborate. In fact, we have been having some issues with the head of the department who is a peer with my manager. These problems need to be addressed because they are starting to negatively influence our team morale and the collaborative relationships between the departments. After our team meeting, in which we discussed potential strategies, it occurred to me that we face a classic problem of “what should we do to make this better”? (e.g. we need a creative, novel, and useful solution) but we are not certain of the outcome of any one of our choices. In other words — all the strategies are risky. 

Ohhh, yes: risk. THAT.

Although we may not realize it, creativity carries with it a huge amount of risk …and risk can make us fearful and insecure because the outcome is unknown.  Unlike some other kinds of activities, creative risk can’t always be reduced or avoided.

There is:

  1. Risk in change — a novel solution implies change.
  2. Risk of social outcome — will people accept it?
  3. Risk in creative output (the risk of failure — we don’t know whether the solution will work)
  4. Fear of the first step or the next step — what do we do next?
  5. Fear of not knowing how / all the steps / the process — how do we do it?  I don’t know what I am doing! 

What you may have noticed is that some of the risk can only be managed by continuing in the creative process — by, for instance, creating the solution and seeing if it works, doing the next step of invention, moving through the creative process, releasing the results to our audiences.

This is why entrepreneurial education focuses on “fail fast, fail cheap” because we are going to fail.  In order to fail, you have to try — and you won’t try if you don’t have courage to take the risks that allow you to fail.


  1. Get courage
  2. Use courage to try next step
  3. If you succeed, go to step 1; If you fail go to step 1.

Wait, WHAT? You might be thinking “I have to always have courage and always have to try, no matter whether I succeed or fail?”


Because if you succeed, you will want to try more.

And if you fail, you will need to try again.

So, get some courage to overcome the scariness of taking risks. Being brave or courageous is not living or being without fear it is that there is something MORE IMPORTANT than the fear.



Image by Quotes Everlasting under CC 2.0.

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