Experience is Overrated

I read an article in Forbes yesterday (http://onforb.es/ShFTg5) about the trend of “intellectual in-breeding” (my term). Companies fill their RFPs and job-postings with requirements that the consultant/applicant must have x years in the industry (too many) and my favorite, “have solved similar problems before.”

The problem is, the people who write these things, if they actually think about them, have jumped to a solution already. They are seeking an implementor. Someone who doesn’t ask questions, doesn’t solve problems (necessarily) they just implement. They do what they are asked and collect a pay check. This is as far away from innovation as one can get; it’s stagnation.

That doesn’t mean we don’t need implementers. Here are some ways we might use them.

  • Building a new deck
  • Changing your oil
  • Waxing your floors
  • Washing your windows

Why on earth would you want someone like that making business decisions that impact your employees, shareholders, bottom-line, and your credibility?

If you ask for someone who has “solved this problem before,” that means you are looking for the same solution they gave the last guy. Why do the same thing your competitors did? Use it as an opportunity to innovate. Think outside the box. Hire outside of your “approved vendor” list.