Valuing experience

April 4, 2013

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But sometimes I think people would be wise to take time to learn what tricks that old dog can already do.
Time serving of course is not in itself a qualification for a role, but it is sorely underrated. Having been round the block and seen how things operate in the real world is a huge asset to an organisation.
Inexperience often brings with it a fear of doing things wrong. Especially when the organisation is very hot on making sure everything is done correctly.
Of course no one wants to make mistakes or make the wrong decisions, but the only way to be sure not make a mistake is to do nothing. That way you can’t get it wrong.
But of course that means nothing gets done. Everything stagnates as no one takes the decision to progress. Because there are always people who can point out the risks in what is proposed. It takes another type of person to be able to accept those risks and defend the proposal. Especially if it has never been done by the organisation before. Much safer to keep doing the same old things in the same old way than risk trying something new and getting it wrong.
And that’s where experience can help. Done it before. Seen something like it before. Or seen so much stuff that considering principles and making judgement calls is second nature.
Just because it is new to someone inexperienced doesn’t mean it actually is new. It’s just that they haven’t been around long enough to have seen it already.


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