Yes, most systems have a very strong tendency to regress to the mean and therefore stay the same. This has a mechanical cause. Most innovation attempts are failures. This trend is very strong in biological evolution, where populations tend to stay the same for a long time. There are many mechanisms of genetic action to create this conservatism. Then, they have bursts of evolution. This fits your observation about innovation happening in “odd times of crisis or infancy” but it doesn’t require any type of human understanding of relation, values, and journey. I would say that the strange part is the mechanisms that hold back change. Once these are overcome, lots of changes can happen quickly.
You say that innovation is creatively disruptive, not destructive, but isn’t this just assuming the conclusion — defining destructive changes as not being innovation? Consider the industrial revolution. It is great for a lot of humans, but it has lead to mass extinction and cooking the planet, and perhaps nuclear war. It all depends on your time frame.
I have never felt constrained from innovation, except by the fact that it is hard. However, I have never had a job with a boss. I am going on record as saying that big companies can innovate and save capitalism, by incremental means.