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Experience not as important as embracing change in business

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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From small business to big business, “got experience” appears to be a given. But is it really all that it is cracked up to be?

• How many times have good, potential employees been lost because they “lacked experience?”

• How many times have small business providers not been considered because they did not have expertise in a particular industry?

One of my colleagues, S. Anthony Iannarino, owner of Solutions Staffing, in Columbus, Ohio, recently posted in his blog about this “got experience fallacy.” He shared how he just finished a presentation about successful selling.

During the presentation, he offered two lists of key attributes (attitudes) and sales skills. Neither list included experience. An attendee asked him about this omission. Iannarino’s response was:

“Experience isn’t a prerequisite for success.”

Did you hear a gasp coming from inside you?

Have you been conditioned to believe experience is part of the business and professional success equation?

What heresy is Iannarino spreading?

Iannarino, as others, is challenging people to think differently and that is the essence of creativity leading to innovation. Today’s business world does sometimes require a different way of thinking and from that thinking new innovation happens.

Experience sometimes is an obstacle to innovation because of these two mindsets:

“This is the way we have always done it” or

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Are either of these mindsets something you actually heard or even thought?

How will that move you or your small business to being ahead of the innovation flow?

Staying in the land of the Status Quo appears to be much easier but in reality it probably costs more to stay where one is rather than to venture forth and embrace change. The higher costs associated with staying with the status quo could be the:

• Inability to increase sales to using old costly technology when other more price friendly solutions such as cloud computing are available

• Reluctance to abandon high-cost traditional media for lower cost social media marketing

• Continued annual performance appraisals instead of quarterly or even monthly ones

Business innovation today be it small to large is about being competitive through flexibility, meeting the customer’s value perception while still delivering quality solutions. Experience is a plus when it comes to business acumen, however sometimes not having experience allows for those often unasked, but quite obvious questions that may lead to that next innovation.

Experience is no longer, as Iannarino said, “a prerequisite for success.” The key word here is “prerequisite.” As well known business and life expert Wayne Dyer has said:

“When you change how you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

P.S. Shout Out: Aqua Express Car Wash in Hammond and Zoom Clean in Valparaiso.



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