Is Experience the Enemy of Innovation?
2) The innovation. There were methods used in their projects that were taught in the classroom: marketing fundamentals, SWOT analysis, survey work, interviews, etc. However, the presentations came alive. All of the methods along with the actual implementations—and teamwork with their peers—truly seemed to bring it home to them. Their solutions were thought out based on their findings. They did not simply throw a video or a few social media posts at something.
With the experience we gain over the years, we lessen our ability to look at things with a fresh perspective. Often we need to force ourselves to step back rather than have the excitement be new and natural. It is easy to run into obstacles in our day-to-day and shake off what we initially thought was a good idea because we discover a reason why it won’t work. Surrendering too easily is just that—giving up. Take a step back and shake off preconceptions, turn the problem over and inside out–that’s when the solutions become apparent.
Experience is important, however, it can be used as a crutch when someone doesn’t have the drive to innovate. Coupling solid, basic experience with passion for learning while solving a problem might be the winning combination. In a larger organization, we can have more diversity through our hiring and career pathing, fostering energy and innovation. In a small one, it can be helped through an intern (look for a passionate one!) or by networking with people who might not be a potential customer—they simply look at things very differently than we do and can help provide the fresh eyes we lack once we gain experience.