In school, I was a "problem" because I was a critical thinker. I've also been fired for trying to prevent product failure ("how dare you suggest we test what the salesman said!") - one that failed exactly the way I predicted.
I've seen the same message is most workplaces: Follow our dogma or be punished.
On the other hand, I went to the (now gone) us steel institute for problem solving, and it changed my life. This is a skill that companies seek. In a nutshell, if a company (well, boss) thinks they know how to do something, you better do it their way else. But if they don't know how to do it, then you are allowed much more freedom.
An interesting article on the poor leadership in the US offered this theory. 1) Parents see more presidents come from Ivy League universities. 2) Parent pushes kids to get good grades, etc. needed for acceptance. 3) Schools demand conformity, student complies. 4) Leadership positions are filled with "leaders" who have been trained to conform. 5) New events occur, and the "leaders" are lost without a framework to fit the new events.
Examples: Music and movie downloads. Newpapers vs. web. Putin saying "those aren't Russian troops". Apple seeing "professional management", firing non-conforming Steve Jobs, then bringing him back after the professionals nearly destroyed the company.